Calcutta High Court has upheld the death sentence of underworld don Aftab Ansari and his accomplice Jamiruddin Nasir for their role in the attack on the American Center in Kolkata on January 22, 2002.
On Friday, the division bench of Justices A.K. Banerjee and Kalidas Mukherjee also upheld the capital punishment for the duo.
While three of Ansari’s accomplices, Musarat Hussain, Sakir Akhtar and Hasrat Alam, were sentenced to five years for forgery, Rehan Alam and Adil Hassan were acquitted for lack of evidence.
Both Ansari and Nasir have decided to appeal against the verdict to the Supreme Court within 90 days.
“There is no evidence to prove any charge against Ansari and Nasir. I am confident they would be acquitted by the apex court,” said Syed Shahid Imam their advocate.
On January 22, 2002, eight associates of Aftab Ansari, armed with AK 47 assault rifles, stormed the American Center in Kolkata at about 6.00 am.
The policemen on duty were caught unawares. Five policemen were killed before they could return fire and 14 people were injured.
A few hours after the attack, Ansari called a local English newspaper, claiming responsibility for the attack. But he could not be traced, as he fled to his base in Dubai.
On January 26, 2002, Salim and Zahid were injured and subsequently died in a gunbattle with Delhi police at Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.
They confirmed Ansari’s role in the attack and his whereabouts. He was also sentenced to life for his involvement in the abduction of Partha Roy Burman, a co-promoter of shoemaker, Khadims, on July 25, 2001.