New Delhi, March 22: A city court today framed charges of sedition under the Prevention of Terrorism Act against Aftab Ansari, the prime accused in the attack outside the American Center in Calcutta, for allegedly conspiring to assassinate President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and abduct cricketers Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar.
Ansari was brought from Calcutta four days ago on a production warrant to face trial in the case and was taken back immediately after today’s proceedings. Special Judge S.N. Dhingra framed charges against nine of Ansari’s accomplices on March 5.
Pronouncing the order, Dhingra said that prima facie a case existed against Ansari. Two of his associates — Arshad Khan and Anita Das — will face the charge of waging war against the state for allegedly providing logistical support to Pakistan-trained militants in another case.
Though Ansari’s name figures as an accused in both cases, the court did not frame separate charges against him for providing support to militants. Dhingra said the cases against him would be clubbed and would proceed concurrently.
The Delhi police chargesheet alleged that Arshad Khan had backed Afghanistan’s Taliban militia in its fight against the Northern Alliance. He was also involved in the abduction of Khadim’s owner Parthapratim Roy Burman.
Ansari was also charged with planning to kidnap for ransom Sachin and Sourav with the help of other terrorist outfits to raise funds and compel the Centre to release their associates lodged in various Indian jails.
Ansari had also allegedly arranged the delivery of a consignment of AK-47 rifles and pistols from Pakistan in July 2001.