3 Delhi blasts accused walk free

80 people were killed and 225 injured in the serial explosions over a decade ago

February 16, 2017 06:17 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 09:53 pm IST - New Delhi

Relatives of Sarojini Nagar blast victims participate in the all-religion prayer on the occasion of sixth anniversary, at the blast site, in New Delhi. File photo

Relatives of Sarojini Nagar blast victims participate in the all-religion prayer on the occasion of sixth anniversary, at the blast site, in New Delhi. File photo

More than a decade after serial blasts in different parts of the national capital killed 80 people and injured 225, a Delhi court on Thursday acquitted two accused and convicted one.

The blasts occurred in the evening of October 29 in 2005 when people were busy making purchases for Diwali which was round the corner.

The blast in the Sarojini Nagar market killed 50, while 17 died in the Paharganj blast and 13 in the explosion at Okhla Phase-II, opposite Madina Masjid.

The Special Cell of the Delhi Police had charge-sheeted all the accused, for murder, waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against the Government of India and criminal conspiracy of Indian Penal Code and certain Sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh acquitted all the three accused — Tariq Ahmad Dar, Mohammad Hussain Fazili and Mohammad Rafiq Shah, all from Srinagar — of all these charges.

However, the judge held Dar guilty under UAPA, though no charge was framed against him under this Act. But the court set free Dar as well, stating that his sentence matched the period he had already served in jail during trial.

All the three accused were in judicial custody.

There were a total of five accused in the case; two of them had pleaded guilty to the charges and were convicted by the court in 2014.

The police alleged that Dar, Fazili and Shah, members of the banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), along with others of the LeT, had hatched a conspiracy and carried out the blasts.

Shah said in his defence that the Delhi Police had made him an accused to assuage the public perception that they were incompetent to act against terrorism.

The police alleged that Shah had planted a bomb in a DTC bus which, when it went off, had caused injuries to 13 persons. Acquitting Shah in the case, the judge said: “The prosecution has been unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was Mohammad Rafiq Shah who had planted the bomb in the DTC bus on .’’

Fazili in his defence said that as per the case of the prosecution, he never came to Delhi. He stated that the allegations against him were based on his disclosure statement which he never made.

The police alleged that Fazili was in the conspiracy to carry out the blasts. The probe agency also alleged that Fazili had led them to Shah.

No witness

Acquitting him, the judge said: “There is no public witness associated in the apprehension of Mohammad Hussain Fazili or of the fact that it was he who had led the police to Rafiq Shah.’’

Against Dar, the investigating agency alleged that he was actively involved in receiving and distributing money for terrorist activities. Holding him guilty under Sections 38 and 39 of the UAPA, the judge said: “Even though no charge was framed against Tariq Ahmad Dar for the offences under Sections 38 and 39 of the UAPA, the ingredients of these offences are very much made out, and, there is, therefore, no bar under the law for this court to hold him guilty of both these offences.’’

“The net result... is that Mohammad Rafiq Shah and Mohammad Hussain Fazili are acquitted of all the charges framed against them. Tariq Ahmad Dar is convicted of the offences under Sections 38 and 39 of the UAPA while he is acquitted of all other charges,’’ Mr. Singh said in his 140-page judgment.

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