Mumbai : Six men, convicted in Akshardham temple terror attack of Sep 24, 2002, but acquitted of all charges by the Supreme Court last week, Monday demanded compensation, rehabilitation and punishment to officials who falsely implicated them in the case. The convicts who have been acquitted are Chand Khan, 35, a mechanic from Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly, Adam Ajmeri, 45, and Mufti Abdul Qayyum, 37, both residents of Ahmedabad. They were convicted and sentenced to death earlier. Besides, there were other three other Ahmedabad residents – Mohammed Altaf, 30, a shopkeeper working in Saudi Arabia, who was given five years’ sentence which he completed, Mohammed Salim, 37, a tailor also working in Saudi Arabia, and Maulvi Abdulla, 55, a cleric. The last two were sentenced to 10 years jail each.
Addressing a press conference here, they unitedly demanded that the Gujarat government and then chief minister Narendra Modi – who headed the home department – should adequately compensate them for the long periods of incarceration they wrongly suffered. “I had been working in Saudi Arabia for 13 years and I was arrested under pretext of some problem with my passport. The security officers brutally beat me up… fractured my foot. They gave me options on which case I wanted to be charged under – the Akshardham Temple terror case, Haren Pandya murder case, or the Godhra train carnage,” claimed Salim.
“Our lives have been totally ruined because of this case. Our families were hounded. We have nothing in life and have to start from scratch at this age. The time lost in jail will never return, now the state government must at least give us suitable compensation for the manner in which we were wrongly implicated,” pleaded Maulvi Abdulla.
Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra (AM) legal cell secretary Gulzar Azmi, which provided free legal aid to all the accused, said that now it is the turn of the security officials who acted illegally against these six acquitted people to answer in courts.
At least 33 people were killed and over 80 injured before the National Security Guard commandos managed to gun down the attackers. -IANS