Gallows for Lajpat Nagar bombers
23 Apr 2010
NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR: Three members of the Jammu and Kashmir Front — Mirza Nissar Hussain, Mohammad Naushad and Mohammad Ali Bhatt — found guilty in
the Lajpat Nagar bomb blast of 1996, have been sentenced to death.
Giving his verdict, district and sessions judge S P Garg termed the bomb blast as a “well planned operation” and a crime against society and added that the convicted deserved no leniency.
“The apparent motive of the convicts was to inflict maximum casualties. It was not mere a desperate act of a small group of persons…convicts took an active part in series of steps taken to pursue the object of the conspiracy.”
Thirteen persons were killed and 39 injured in the blast that took place on the evening of May 2, 1996, in the busy central market area of Lajpat Nagar.
Awarding life imprisonment to another convict and jail terms of seven years and 50 months, respectively, to two other convicts, the court said: “The gravity of the crime conceived by the convicts with potential for causing enormous casualties as well as disrupting normal life of the people is something which cannot be described in words.”
The court handed down life imprisonment to Javed Ahmed Khan, the fourth convict held guilty for murder. A fine of Rs.35,000 was also imposed on him. Separatists in Srinagar called for a strike and protests after hearing the verdict. Mirza Nissar Hussain and Mohammad Ali Bhatt are from the state.
Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq termed the verdict as “revenge” and called for a Kashmir wide strike on Friday. It also called for peaceful protests after the Friday prayers. Syed Ali Shah Geelani and many other separatists said they would chalk out the course of action on Friday.
Terming the verdict as “most unfortunate”, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said, “Kashmir is an unresolved political problem and such tragedies flow out of the inability of India and Pakistan to resolve this six decade old tragedy.”
She said that Lajpat Nagar case is not the first in the long story of bloodshed associated with Kashmir problem but looking at this problem purely on technical and legal level would only add to the ‘trouble’.