Key accused in temple attack case arrested

Key accused in temple attack case arrested

The Ahmedabad crime branch officials on Saturday arrested one of the accused in the 2002 Akshardham temple terror attack case as he arrived  at the city airport.

Ajmeri Abdul Rashid, one of the 28 absconding accused in the case, had apparently relocated  to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was picked by the crime branch sleuths from near the airport as he returned to the city 15 years after the sensational attack on the temple.

Crime branch DCP Dipen Bhadran said  that Rashid had planned and helped banned terror organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba to carry out the attack.

Rashid is said to be the key conspirator and financier of  the attack, which  took place on September 24, 2002, inside the temple premises. Nearly  32 people, including 28 visitors, were killed and 80 others injured in the attack. The terrorists had used automatic weapons and hand grenades. Three commandos, including one from the NSG and a constable from the State Reserve Police, were also killed.

Follows PM's visit  

Rashid's arrest comes 48 hours after  Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the silver jubilee celebrations of the temple.  During the specially created light and sound show, there was a presentation on the 2002 attack, depicted to be a  dark day for the temple, which  has withstood several challenges, including the killer temblor of January 26, 2001.

Earlier, Rashid's brother Aadam Ajmeri and two others were awarded capital punishment in the case. However, it was struck down by the Supreme Court, and all the three were acquitted in 2014.

Three other convicts was also let off by the apex court, and investigating agencies were pulled up for not carrying out the probe properly.  

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