India: Three Lashkar militants handed death penalty for plotting strikes in Kashmir
Three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives, who were nabbed while trying to illegally enter India, were sentenced to death by an Indian court for plotting attacks in Kashmir.
The operatives, Mohammad Yunous, Abdullah Khan and Muzaffar Ahmed, were given death penalty by Fast Track Court-1 of Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, a state in east India, on Saturday.
West Bengal: Bongaon Court convicts three LeT terrorists, pronounce capital punishment. They were arrested from Bongaon border in 2007. pic.twitter.com/lzg9xn3xS2— ANI (@ANI_news) January 21, 2017
Yunous and Khan are both Pakistani nationals and Ahmed is an Indian national. Ahmed hailed from Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir.
Yunous and Abdullah Khan belonged to the LeT suicide squad and had planned a suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir, as per the investigation.
A fourth LeT operative, Sheikh Naeem alias Samir from Aurangabad in Maharashtra was arrested with the three men, but had fled from Crime Investigation Department's custody in 2013. He has been declared absconding.
Investigators said Samir was also involved in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts, which left more than 200 dead. He had also confessed to helping LeT handlers in Pakistan in the train blasts. He was also interrogated by a team of Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad in connection with the attacks.
The four men were arrested on April 1, 2007 by Border Security Force (BSF) from Petrapole border while attempting to sneak into India. During the trial, the court learnt that they had travelled from Karachi, Pakistan, to Bangladesh, and were trying to enter India from there.
Later, the India's border security force handed over the four to West Bengal CID for investigation. The CID had produced them before the court on April 4, 2007 and sought custody. Since then, CID had been investigating the case.
The trial ended last week and the quantum of punishment was announced on Saturday. They were sentenced to death for plotting a war against the nation.
At the time of their arrest, several documents were found on them which suggested that the four men were on their way to Jammu and Kashmir. Several mobile phones were also found on them. However, SIM cards were missing from those mobile phones. Later, they had admitted that they had destroyed the SIM cards moments after their arrest.