Free Press Journal

LeT operative gets seven-yr RI in 2010 arms recovery case


Hyderabad: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq was today sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment by a local court in connection with a 2010 case of recovery of weapons from him.

The court of First Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge, convicted Zia-ul-Haq for the offence under Section 5(b) of Explosive Substances Act besides fining him Rs 1,000.

Haq, who was allegedly planning bomb attacks at public places and a MNC here, was arrested on May 3, 2010 from a location in the city, by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) wing of Hyderabad Police, following a tip off by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

He was caught red-handed by SIT with one hand grenade and a pistol. The police subsequently seized one more hand grenade and six live bullets after raiding his house here.

The case was later transferred to NIA in September 2010 which also filed a charge sheet in this connection.

The agency alleged that Haq, a sleeper cell member of the LeT, who had been working in Saudi Arabia since 1996, was influenced by his Pakistani handler Abdul Aziz and others to wage jihad against India.

However, he was acquitted on other charges under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act.

Before being sentenced, Haq told the Judge G Lakshmipati that he was innocent.

Haq, who was allegedly planning to attack Deloitte’s Hi-Tech City offices here using grenades supplied by Lashkar, had worked as driver with a taxi firm contracted to Deloitte and carried out extensive reconnaissance at the facility, the agency had earlier alleged.

Haq, a Hyderabadi, first came in contact with LeT when he went to Saudi Arabia.

In 2002, following the Gujarat riots, he went to Pakistan and took terror training in Karachi and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir capital Muzafarabad, NIA had alleged.

He (Haq) got training in handling explosives and fire arms including AK 47 and was assigned to cause explosions in crowded areas and subsequently returned to India and was working as taxi driver in Hyderabad.

The LeT operative had allegedly carried out the bombing at Odeon cinema here in 2006 through explosives supplied by LeT through an operative from Jammu and Kashmir. The trial in the case is presently on.

Haq is alleged to have carried out reconnaissance of  a number of possible targets in Hyderabad on the instructions of Aziz and was on the look-out for carrying out another attack at some crowded public place.

However, before he could execute his plan, he was nabbed by the Hyderabad Police on May 3, 2010.