The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Guilty verdict in House attack

New Delhi, Dec. 16: A court has held four persons, including a lecturer, guilty of plotting the Parliament attack, delivering the first convictions under the new anti-terrorism law on a strike that brought India and Pakistan close to war.

Judge S.N. Dhingra will pronounce tomorrow the sentence on each of the convicted — suspended Delhi University lecturer S.A.R. Geelani, Mohammad Afzal, Shaukat Hussain alias Guru and his wife Navjot Sandhu alias Afsan Guru.

The offences range from waging war against the state to attempting to kill the Prime Minister and the Union home minister while Parliament was in session on December 13, 2001.

“After considering the entire evidence.... I hold Mohammad Afzal, Shaukat Hussain Guru and S.A.R. Geelani, along with five deceased terrorists, and with Gazi Baba, Tariq Ahmed and Masood Azhar, hatched a criminal conspiracy for committing offences under the IPC like waging war against India...,” Dhingra said in his judgment.

Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Azhar, who was released by a Pakistan court on Friday, the outfit’s Jammu and Kashmir chief commander Gazi Baba and Tariq have been declared proclaimed offenders.

The judge said the assailants were armed with explosives with the intention to murder all those who came in their way.

According to the court order, the Jaish militants wanted to “capture the Parliament House and to kill the Prime Minister and the home minister and take hostage all the MPs and VIPs present”.

Afzal, Shaukat and Geelani have been found guilty of several offences under the anti-terrorism law, the Indian Penal Code and the Explosive Substance Act. Navjot has been convicted for not disclosing to authorities the conspiracy hatched by the co-accused and the deceased militants under Section 123 of the IPC.

However, Dhingra clarified that Navjot was “not party to the conspiracy”.


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