9 convicted for 2013 serial blasts in Patna ahead of Modi rally
A Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Wednesday convicted nine out of 10 people accused in the 2013 serial blasts at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan that killed six people and left 90 injured.
Seven IEDs went off on October 27, 2013, before a rally by Narendra Modi, then the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
In its charge sheet, NIA said the accused planned the Patna bombings after they failed to get close to Modi at previous rallies in New Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. The NIA claimed that the accused even carried out a dry run of a suicide bombing in Ranchi.
Two of the accused, Imtiyaz Ansari (Gandhi Maidan) and Mohammad Tariq Ajam (Patna Junction), were injured in the incident and revealed the name of the other associates. Ajam died during treatment. Following their revelations, the Bihar police and NIA solved the Bodh Gaya blasts case. A total of 17 IEDs were found in and around Gandhi Maidan.
In the Bodh Gaya bombings, on July 7, 2013, 10 of the 13 IEDs planted went off, killing five people. Special PP Lalan Kumar Sinha, who represented NIA in the court, said that the nine accused were convicted under Sections 120b (conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 121 (waging war against the government of India), 121a (conspiracy to commit offences), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), besides various sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Explosives Act and Railways act. He also informed that all the convicts were former Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists.
Additional district and sessions judge (XV) of the special NIA court Gurwinder Singh Malhotra held Imtiyaz Ansari, Haider Ali alias Abdullah, Noman Ansari, Umar Siddiqui, Azharuddin Qureshi, Ahmed Hussain, Mohammed Iftekhar Alam, Mohammed Mujibullah Ansari, and Feroz Aslam guilty of planting and detonating the explosions. The 10th accused, Fakruddin, was found innocent due to the lack of evidence.
Malhotra will pronounce the quantum of the sentence on November 1. Sinha said five of the accused have already been convicted in the Bodh Gaya serial bombings case. Haider and Mujibullah were the masterminds of those bombings carried out as revenge for alleged atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. A minor accused was sentenced in 2017 for three years for his involvement in blasts at Gandhi Maidan and Bodh Gaya.