Akshardham Attack case accused arrested while returning from Saudi Arabia

Ahmdedabad: One of the masterminds of the deadly terror attack on Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar in September 2002, was nabbed today from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport here, police said.

Around 60 year old Abdul Rashid Ajmeri was caught by the crime branch team of Ahmedabad police from the airport soon after he landed from a Kuwait Airways flight from Gulf countries. He is brother of one of the former accused of the case who was acquitted by the apex court in 2014. He used to live in Riyadh of Saudi Arabia since long and since even before the crime but he was involved in the conspiracy, DCP crime branch Dipen Bhadran said today.

‘We had a definite information about his coming to Ahmedabad to meet his brother and we got the info soon after he booked a ticket in the Kuwait Airways from Riyadh,’ he informed adding that he was one of the several conspirators and accused of the case who were absconding.

He would be produced in a court later for his formal arrest and remand for detailed interrogation, he said.

In the incident that took place in the evening of September 24, 2002 in the temple situated a few meters away from the official CM residence in Gandhinagar, a total of 32 people including two terrorists were killed and over 80 injured. The incident was said to be a criminal conspiracy to retaliate against the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat.

A special (POTA) court had convicted six of the accused with capital punishment to three of them. The Gujarat High Court had also upheld the judgement but in 2014 the Supreme Court acquitted them.

Notably, the grand temple which saw completion of its construction in 1992 had celebrated its silver jubilee on November 2 last and PM Narendra Modi remained present in the function.


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