SC acquits 6 convicted for Akshardham attack

SC acquits 6 convicted for Akshardham attack

On the day when Narendra Modi won a landslide in Lok Sabha elections, the Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to the state police by acquitting six convicts, including three of them on death row, in the 2002 Akshardham temple attack case.

The court also held that innocent people had been implicated instead of the real culprits. 

A bench of Justices A K Patnaik and V Gopala Gowda, while setting aside the orders by POTA court and the Gujarat High Court, also expressed displeasure over the manner in which the police conducted their investigation. 

Of the six accused, three were awarded the capital punishment and two life term and one 10 year rigorous imprisonment for their alleged involvement in the terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar on September 24, 2002.

Two militants having links with Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed by National Security Guard (NSG) commandos during the attack on the temple.

Using automatic weapons and hand grenades, the attackers had killed 32 people that included 28 temple visitors, three commandos -one of them from NSG- and a constable of the State Reserve Police.

Examining the appeals by the convicts, the court observed that the police were lax and did not follow procedures in pursuing the matter such as seeking sanctions. 

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