A MCOCA court on Thursday convicted twelve accused and acquitted ten in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. Among the 12 convicted is key LeT operative and 26/11 plotter Abu Jundal. The MCOCA court said that this was a larger conspiracy to strike terror and they (accused) were calling it ‘jihad’.
Special MCOCA Judge Shrikant Anekar delivered the verdict after final arguments in the case concluded recently following a ten-year-long wait. The court also dropped MCOCA charges in the case, in which 22 people, including Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, were arrested.
The court accepted prosecution’s case that the aim of the convicted accused was to create terror in the minds of people and to eliminate public leaders like then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia.
On May 8, 2006, a Maharashtra ATS team had chased a Tata Sumo and an Indica car on Chandwad-Manmad highway near Aurangabad and arrested three terror suspects and seized 30 kg RDX, 10 AK-47 assault rifles and 3,200 bullets from their possession.
The special court framed charges against the accused in August 2013. However, the trail was stayed by the Supreme Court for a temporary period after one the accused challenged the constitutional validity of certain provisions of MCOCA.