Mumbai, Jul 28 (HT): A sessions court on Thursday convicted 12 accused, including Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative and 26/11 key plotter, and acquitted eight others in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case.
The accused were convicted under the IPC and Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA). One accused was given pardon. All accused were acquitted under MCOCA.
The trial, which had resumed in 2013 after Abu Jundal’s arrest, had concluded in March this year before the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Special Court here.
It pertains to the May 8, 2006 operation by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad in which three terror suspects travelling in a car were nabbed on the Chandwad-Manmad highway near Aurangabad.
The ATS recovered from them 30 kg RDX, 10 AK-47 army assault rifles, 3,200 rounds of ammuniton and other things, which were reportedly intended for carrying out terror strikes in the country.
Another suspect vehicle managed to give the slip to the ATS. It was believed to have been driven by Abu Jundal who escaped to Pakistan.
After Abu Jundal was nabbed in 2013, he revealed to the ATS another hideout from where they recovered 13 kg RDX, 1200 cartridges, 50 hand grenades, 22 magazine rounds.
A total of 22 accused were arrested, including Abu Jundal who is accused plotting the 26/11 terror attacks.
Earlier, the trial had been stayed by Supreme Court after one of the accused had challenged the constitutional validity of certain provisions in the MCOCA invoked on the accused. The stay was lifted in 2009.
In 2013 the ATS filed a charge-sheet against all the accused for plotting various terror strikes since 2006.
With inputs from agencies