A Ghaziabad court on Monday awarded life term to two terror convicts, including a Pakistani national, who planted in an Uttar Pradesh government-run bus in 1996 a bomb that killed 16 people in Modinagar town. One suspect was acquitted.
Additional district and sessions judge Mangal Prasad Yadav gave life term to Mohammad Mateen, a Pakistani national arrested from Jammu and Kashmir in 1997, and Mohammad Iliyas, a resident of Muzaffarnagar, and slapped a penalty of Rs.50,000 on each.
The court acquitted third suspect Tehseen in absence of evidence to link him to the April 27, 1996 explosion on National Highway-58 which left 18 people injured. The bus was going from Delhi to Dehradun.
As soon as the court pronounced the sentence, Iliyas shouted that he had been wronged and that he had lost faith in the judiciary. Mateen appeared calm and quite.
Relatives of some blast victims were disappointed that the convicts were not give the death sentence.
Additional district government counsel Rajendra Kasana said that after the incident a case was registered in Modi Nagar police station under penal provisions for murder, attempt to murder, rioting and criminal conspiracy and under the Explosives Act.
The criminal investigation department of the state later took over the probe and filed the chargesheet, he said.
The formal set of charges said that after Mateen reached India from Pakistan, Iliyas provided him shelter in his house. The conspiracy for the blast was also hatched there, he said.