4 get life in Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid attack

4 get life in Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid attack

A special court in Prayagraj on Tuesday sentenced four accused persons to life imprisonment while acquitting the fifth one. (DH Photo)

Almost 14 years after Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists attacked the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid Complex at Ayodhya, a special court in Prayagraj on Tuesday sentenced four accused persons to life imprisonment while acquitting the fifth one.

Special judge SC/ST Dinesh Chandra, who announced the verdict inside the Naini central jail in Prayagraj, also slapped a fine of rs. 20 thousand each on the foursome.

The court sentenced Dr Irfan, Md. Shakeel, Md. Nafees and Asif Iqbal alias Farooq to life imprisonment under various sections of the IPC, including sections 302 and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) but acquitted Md. Aziz for lack of evidence.

Suspected LeT terrorists had attacked the heavily guarded acquired complex, that housed the makeshift Ram Temple having the idol of Ram Lala, on July 5, 2005, with hand grenades and rocket launchers.

The heavily armed terrorists had managed to demolish a portion of the walls of the Complex. A retaliatory strike by the CRPF personnel, however, killed five militants and thwarted the attack. 

Two civilians, including a tourist guide, were also killed in the gunfight while seven security personnel had sustained serious injuries.

During the investigations, the names of five persons had cropped up and it was suspected that they too were part of the conspiracy and had also helped the militants. All of them were later arrested.

The saint community in Ayodhya hailed the verdict through a section of them said that the accused should have been given harsher punishment.

The trial of the case was transferred from Faizabad district court to Prayagraj on the orders of the Allahabad high court in 2006.

Security had been beefed up in Ayodhya and Faizabad in view of the verdict, officials said here. Security personnel in strength had been deployed in and around all important religious buildings in the temple town. 

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