In this October 29, 2005 photo, Delhi Police examine the blast site in Sarojini Nagar market. (Reuters)
New Delhi: After a gap of more than a decade, New Delhi Patiala House Court on Thursday delivered its verdict in the 2005 Delhi serial bomb blasts case, sentencing accused Tariq Ahmed Dar to 10 years in prison and acquitting Mohammed Rafiq Shah and Mohammed Hussain Fazili of all charges.
The verdict is being perceived as a setback for the Delhi Police as none of the accused was convicted under terror charges. Tariq Ahmed Dar has been convicted under Section 38 and Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, slapping charges of terror funding.
Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh, who was scheduled to announce the order on Monday, had scheduled it for Thursday. The court in 2008 framed charges against Dar, the alleged mastermind, and the other two for waging war against the state, conspiring, collecting arms, murder and attempt to murder.
The Delhi Police chargesheeted Dar, mentioning his call details that allegedly proved he was in touch with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives.
Three days before Diwali, on October 29, 2005, three serial bomb explosions ripped through the Capital, leaving 63 dead and more than 100 injured. It was then the biggest terror strike in India outside Kashmir, since the Bombay blasts of 1993. Paharganj, Sarojini Nagar and Govindpuri were the areas targeted.
Investigators believe that the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the attacks.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Kiran Saluja, wife of blast victim Lal Chand Saluja, said justice was not delivered and the crime called for capital punishment.
“We haven’t got justice. 12 years is a long time. We expected capital punishment,” said Saluja.
Timeline of the blasts
5:38 pm | Paharganj — First blast takes place in the main market near the New Delhi Railway Station
6:00 pm | Govindpuri — Second blast near a bus in Govindpuri area in the southern part of Delhi
6:05 pm | Sarojini Nagar —Third explosion within minutes of the second explosion in south Delhi’s busy Sarojini Nagar market, which was the worst hit with 43 casualties and 28 injured.