Delhi blasts accused walk free

Delhi's Patiala House Court on Thursday sentenced Tariq Ahmed Dar, the mastermind behind the 2005 serial blasts in the Capital, to 10 years in prison. Two other accused, Mohammed Rafiq Shah and Mohammed Hussain Fazili, were acquitted of all the charges.

However, he held the third accused, Tariq Ahmed Dar, guilty of being a member of a terror outfit and giving support to it, but let him off too, saying he has already undergone more than 10 years in jail, which is the maximum punishment prescribed under the law for these offences.

The then President A P J Abdul Kalam condemned the blasts and sent condolences to the bereaved and other victims.

Over 11 years after three bombs went off in crowded Delhi markets ahead of Diwali killing 67 people, a court here on Thursday let off three Kashmiris accused in the case for lack of evidence.

"Hence for the reasons recorded above, Dar is found guilty of the offences under section 38 and 39 of UAPA", the court said.

According to a report in The Hindustan Times states that Tariq was chargesheeted for his alleged contacts with Laskar-e-Taiba militants, while the other two were accused of charges like murder, attempt to murder, waging a war against the state. A second series of bomb blasts took place on July 25 in Bangalore and claimed two lives while injuring 20.

"The special cell was not able to establish any link between Dar, Rafiq, and Fazli".

The phone that police claimed Fazili used to hatch the conspiracy of the blasts had only been used to call "123" thrice on October 31, 2005 to check or recharge balance, the court observed. The blasts were strongly condemned by leader across the world. They said they were expecting the court to punish the accused with death. The prosecution had submitted the two as proofs of conspiracy since they mentioned "Diwali ka tohfa".

The prosecution had also alleged that Dar had received about Rs 14 lakh through Hawala routes.

Dar was first arrested in Dhaka and deported in 2007.

Vanessa Coleman