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Four convicted in Parliament attack case

By Onkar Singh in New Delhi
December 16, 2002 19:30 IST
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A Delhi court on Monday convicted four persons in the Parliament attack case.

They were the Delhi University's suspended lecturer, S A R Geelani, Mohammed Afzal, Shaukat Guru and his wife Navjot Sandhu alias Afsan Guru.

Three others -- Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Maulana Masood Azhar and his henchmen Gazi Baba and Imran -- were tried in absentia.

All except Afsan were found guilty of waging a war against India and plotting to kill Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, his deputy Lal Kishenchand Advani and other members of Parliament.

Delivering the judgment in a packed courtroom, where Geelani, Guru, his wife and Afzal were present, Special Judge S N Dhingra said, "The quantum of the punishment [four those in the room] will be announced tomorrow."

The court held Afsan guilty under Section 123 of the Indian Penal Code for not disclosing the details of the conspiracy. "She should have told the authorities about it though she was not part of the conspiracy," he said.

"I hold Mohammed Afzal, Shaukat Guru and Geelani guilty under Sections 120B, 121,121(a), 122, 302 and 307 for conspiring along with the five killed terrorists [who had attacked Parliament] in waging war against India. I also convict them under arms and explosive acts as well as under Section 3 and 4 of POTA," he said.

Geelani later claimed that they were totally innocent.

Afsan, who had been exempted from appearance by the judge because she had an infant daughter, was present when the judgment was delivered.

She had a brief tussle with Guru when he tried to touch his daughter. "Don't touch me or her," she shouted.

She pleaded with newsmen that she was totally innocent and had been implicated in the case.

The Attack on Parliament: The Complete Coverage

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi