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Why courts are terror targets

delhi Updated: Sep 08, 2011 04:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The terror attack on the Delhi high court on Wednesday was not only designed to gain publicity but also deliver a brutal message to high court judges and lawyers, sources said.

The plan was not only to target ordinary people but also take a chance at a high court judge passing through the spot.

Wednesday’s attack after the failed attempt at the high court on May 25 was apparently made to intimidate the court, which is hearing terror cases and to give a deadly retort to the rejection of appeals of those charged of terror activities after the Batla House encounter three years ago.

Counter-terror specialists pointed out that while all appeals related to the September 19, 2008 encounter at Batla House were rejected by the high court in 2009, two terror trials involving two Pakistanis are currently pending in the court. Courts in other states have been targeted for similar reasons. Courts in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad were the first in the series of terror attacks on courts.

In November 2007, the UP courts were hit by serial blasts by the Indian Mujahideen (IM).

An email sent by IM commander Atif Ameen and Ariz Junaid from a cyber café in east Delhi stated that the strikes were in retaliation against the ill-treatment of alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist Walliullah by lawyers in the Varanasi courts.

Walliullah, a cleric from Phulpur near Allahabad, has now been convicted for the Sankatmochan Temple blast in Varanasi on March 7, 2006. He was thrashed by lawyers when he was produced in the Varanasi local court due to which his trial was shifted to Ghaziabad. While Atif Ameen was gunned down in the Batla House gunfight, Ariz Junaid, the key IM bomb-maker, is still at large.

Official sources said the Lucknow courts were hit as three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists had been arrested by the Special Task Force of the UP Police in November 2007 on charges of trying to target Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Faizabad was hit as the trial of those involved in the Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide attack on the Ayodhya temple was going on in the local district courts.