The two suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives, Faheem Ahmed Ansari and Mohammad Sabauddin Ahmed, who were acquitted by a Mumbai Special Court in the 26/11 terror attack case on Monday will now have to face trial in Uttar Pradesh for their alleged involvement in the December 31, 2007-- January 1, 2008 terrorist strike on the CRPF Group Centre in Rampur. Eight persons, including seven CRPF personnel, were killed in the midnight attack.
A senior police official in Lucknow on Monday denied that the duo's acquittal has weakened the case pending in Uttar Pradesh. "The police and investigating agencies have gathered strong evidence based on scientific inputs and have prepared a watertight case against them in the Rampur CRPF Group Centre terrorist attack case, which is pending trial in U.P.", the ADG (Law and Order and STF), Brij Lal told reporters. Describing Sabauddin as the mastermind of the Rampur terror strike, Mr. Lal said the charge sheet against the accused is "pending" and the trial would start once they are brought back to Uttar Pradesh.
Ansari and Sabauddin are presently in judicial custody in Mumbai.
According to the UP police official, Faheem and Sabauddin were also involved in the terrorist strike on the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore on December 29, 2005 in which one scientist was killed and some others were injured.
As per the UP police records, six suspected LeT militants, Faheem Ahmed Ansari alias Abu Zaraar, Mohammad Sharif alias Mohammad Anwar, Jang Bahadur alias Baba, Sabauddin alias Abu Qasim, Amar Singh alias Abu Zaar and Abu Osama alias Aavesh were arrested by the Special Task Force in February 2008 from two different places in Uttar Pradesh for their alleged involvement in the Rampur terror strike.
While Faheem, Mohd. Sharif and Jang Bahadur, according to the STF, were arrested from Rampur on February 10, 2008, Sabauddin, Amar Singh and Abu Osama were arrested from the tempo stand near the Charbagh railway station in Lucknow on the same day.
The then Director-General of UP police, Vikram Singh had said at a press conference in Lucknow on February 10, 2008 that Sabauddin, a resident of Madhubani district in Bihar was trained by the ISI and LeT in Pakistan before he settled down in Patna. Mr. Singh had said that Abu Zaar and Abu Osama, were Pakistani nationals and had played a major role in the Rampur attack. They had also planned terror strikes at Churchgate in Mumbai, the Bombay Stock Exchange and on army convoys in Rampur and Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh.
During Faheem's interrogation, the UP police seized some maps of Mumbai from him showing some important buildings. The maps were hand drawn. Suspecting his involvement in the 26/11/2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, the UP police informed its counterparts in Maharashtra. Subsequently, in December 2008, the additional chief metropolitan magistrate of Rampur allowed the Mumbai police to take Faheem Ansari, who was lodged in Bareilly central jail, on transit remand to Mumbai for questioning in the 26/11 case.