MUMBAI: Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal, a key plotter of the 26/11 terror attacks, was on Tuesday awarded life imprisonment in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.
Besides him, six others were also sentenced for life. Two convicts were given 14 years imprisonment and three for eight years.
Abu Jundal, Mohammad Amir, Aqib, Bilal, Faisal, Afroz and Aslam have been awarded the life sentence, while Dr. Sharif and Zaffar were sentenced to 14 years in prison along with Rs. 20,000 fine
Mushtaq, Afzal and Javed have been given eight years of jail time.
All the convicts have been ordered to pay fine as well.
“All the accused will file an appeal against the judgement on August 5 once they receive the copy of the rulings,” Defence lawyer Wahab Khan told the media here.
The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in Mumbai had earlier found Jundal and 11 others guilty in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.
The MCOCA court said that this was a conspiracy after the 2002 Gujarat riots to eliminate the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) president Praveen Togadia.
"Someone calling a government corrupt or unfit cannot be slapped with defamation prosecution," the court observed during the hearing.
The court also said this was a larger conspiracy to strike terror and they (accused) were calling it 'jihad'
On May 8, 2006, a Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) team chased a Tata Sumo and an Indica car on Chandwad-Manmad highway near Aurangabad and arrested three terror suspects and seized 30 kilogram of RDX, 10 AK-47 assault rifles and 3,200 bullets.
Jundal, who hails from Beed district of Maharashtra, drove to Malegaon and a few days later he escaped to Bangladesh from where he fled to Pakistan, according to the state police.
Earlier, the trial had been stayed by the Supreme Court after one of the accused had challenged the constitutional validity of certain provisions in the MCOCA invoked on the accused. The stay was lifted in 2009.
In 2013, the ATS filed a chargesheet against all the accused for plotting various terror strikes since 2006.