2008 Ahmedabad bomb blasts plot involved plan to kill Modi: Prosecutor

The special court on Friday sentenced 38 convicts to death and 11 others to life imprisonment till death for the Ahmedabad serial blasts, which had claimed 56 lives and left over 200 injured.

Published: 19th February 2022 10:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2022 10:33 AM   |  A+A-

PM Narendra Modi

PM Narendra Modi. (Photo| ANI)

By PTI

AHMEDABAD: Plotters of the 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts had also planned to kill then-Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi besides creating mayhem, one of the accused convicted for the bombings by a special court here had admitted before the court in the past, the prosecution said on Friday.

The special court on Friday sentenced 38 convicts to death and 11 others to life imprisonment till death for the Ahmedabad serial blasts, which had claimed 56 lives and left over 200 injured.

As many as 21 explosions had ripped through the city on July 26, 2008, within a span of 70 minutes.

The court had convicted 49 persons and acquitted 28 others in the case on February 8.

After the sentencing, Public Prosecutor Sudhir Brahmbhatt informed the media that a charge-sheet filed by the Gujarat police in 2010 had revealed that the convicts, who were associated with terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, had also planned to eliminate Modi, who is now the prime minister.

"A charge-sheet filed in 2010 in the case contained a statement of an accused which he had given to the magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC. In his statement, the accused (who is among those convicted), had admitted that they had also hatched a plan to kill PM Modi, who was Gujarat's chief minister back then," said Brahmbhatt.

Brahmbhat did not gave the name of the convict.

A senior lawyer, who had the opportunity to go through some part of the 7,000-page judgement, said the special court judge has also observed in his verdict that the convicts had tried to "kill the then CM Narendra Modi, the then Home Minister of Gujarat Amit Shah and local MLA Pradipsinh Jadeja. But fortunately, they survived."

Further, the court noted that the accused had tried to target Modi and his then ministers, including Shah, Nitin Patel, Anandiben Patel and MLA Jadeja because they were the "elected government" as per the Constitution, he said, citing the order.

The lawyer said the court has noted that nearly 30 accused were active members of the banned terror outfit SIMI, which was later on activiated as Indian Mujahideen.

While the accused persons held training camps in the forests of Gujarat and Kerala, they assembled bombs in rented premises in cities like Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat and Pune.

As per the lawyer, the court noted that the accused were hardened criminals and they deserve nothing less than death penalty for their terrorist acts.

Since these accused did not show any mercy for innocent people, there was no need to show mercy to them, said the lawyer, citing the order.

These accused had incited Muslim youths in the name of taking revenge for the post-Godhra riots of 2002, "to remove anti-Muslim government and to establish an Islamic rule," said the lawyer, citing the order.

The court noted that 'jihad' is a pious word but these terrorist organisations have "misused" it to misguide Muslim youths.

The court also urged all Islamic organisations to come forward to stop the misuse of the word Jihad and boycott people who spread terror.

According to defence lawyers, the special court should not have relied solely on circumstantial evidence and statements of some convicts while giving its judgement.

"The verdict was mainly based on circumstantial evidence, four statements given by the accused under section 164 of the CrPC and the statement of an approver. I believe that the court should have discarded such evidences."

"But since the verdict has come, it is natural that those who were convicted will approach the High Court against the verdict," said HM Sheikh, one of the defence lawyers.

"The judgement runs into over 7,000 pages and is yet to be made available to us. We will plan the future course of action after studying the judgement in the coming days," he said.

Khalid Shaikh, another defence lawyer, said the special court should have shown leniency as per principles laid down by the Supreme Court.

"We expected the court to show some leniency and award less harsher punishment. We will first study the verdict before taking a final decision on filing an appeal against it," said Khalid Shaikh.

Earlier in the day, the special court sentenced to death 38 members of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) in the case related to the serial blasts, which had claimed 56 lives and left over 200 injured.

The court also sentenced 11 other convicts to life imprisonment till death.

The court had convicted 49 persons and acquitted 28 others in the case on February 8.

The pronouncement of the quantum of punishment by judge A R Patel came nearly 14 years after the bombings.

This is for the first time that so many convicts have been handed down death sentence by any court at one go.

In January 1998, a TADA court in Tamil Nadu sentenced to death all the 26 convicts in the case of assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.



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