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NIA verdict likely today on 2013 serial blasts at Narendra Modi rally in Patna

The verdict in the deadly 2013 Gandhi Maidan serial blasts at the venue of then PM candidate Narendra Modi’s “Hunkar” rally is expected to be delivered by an NIA special court in Patna
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the inauguration of the medical colleges, in Siddharthnagar on Monday. The NIA is expected to give a verdict on Wednesday on the 2013 serial blasts at his Hunkar rally in Patna. (ANI)
Published on Oct 27, 2021 08:32 AM IST

The verdict in the deadly 2013 Gandhi Maidan serial blasts at the venue of then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s “Hunkar” rally is likely to be delivered on Wednesday by the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) special court in Patna.

Six people were killed and over 90 injured in the serial blasts that rocked the capital city of Bihar on October 27, 2013.

Modi, however, went ahead with the rally to calm nerves and prevent a stampede at the packed Gandhi Maidan.

Nine Indian Mujahideen (IM) suspects and a Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) suspect were made accused in the case.

The accused were identified as Numan Ansari, Haider Ali alias “Black Beauty”, Mohammed Mujibullah Ansari, Umar Siddiqui, Azharuddin Qureshi, Ahmed Hussain, Faqruddin, Mohammed Iftekhar Alam, and a minor, whose identity has been protected.

The minor accused was sentenced on October 12, 2017 for three years by the Juvenile Justice Board after being found guilty of involvement in multiple blasts.

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Most of the accused are from Sithio in Ranchi, said a police official.

Another accused Tariq Ansari died while trying to plant a bomb inside a public toilet at the Patna Junction railway station. Two of the accused were arrested from the spot.

The accused are currently lodged in the high-security Beur Central Jail in Patna. They were slapped with various charges, including hatching a conspiracy, planting and exploding bombs, murdering, and spreading communal hatred.

The NIA took up the case on November 6, 2013, and after probing the incident, it filed a charge sheet against the 11 accused on August 21, 2014.

In the charge sheet, the NIA said the accused had planned the Patna blasts after they failed to get close to Modi at previous rallies in New Delhi, Chhatisgarh and Uttar Pradesh.

Manoj Kumar Singh, public prosecutor of the NIA court, said the final hearing of the case started in June 2018.

The arguments of prosecution witnesses and the accused have been concluded in the special NIA court.

Altogether 250 prosecution witnesses deposed before the trial court for cross-examination, the officer said.

A total of 17 IEDs - seven of them had detonated - were found in and around Gandhi Maidan. Five accused have already been convicted in the 2013 Bodh Gaya serial bombings case.

Haider and Mujibullah were masterminds of the Bodh Gaya bombings, carried out as revenge for alleged atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

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