The Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (M C O C A) court in Mumbai on Thursday convicted Abu Jundal and 12 others in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. The court acquitted 10 others. Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias Abu Jundal was a LeT operative and key plotter of 26/11 Mumbai attack. Abu Jundal currently is in the Arthur Road jail for his role in the terror attack.
After 10 years of wait, Special MCOCA Judge Shrikant Anekar gave the verdict after final argument. The court said this was a big conspiracy to eliminate the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and VHP leader Pravin togadia after the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case was, the 22 accused had acquired huge amount of explosives and arms to target several political leaders who were charged in 2002 Gujarat riots.
But their plan was failed by the team of Maharashtra Anti- Terrorist Squad (ATS). On May 8, 2006 they chased a Tata Sumo and An Indica car on Chandwad-Manmad highway near Aurangabad. They arrested three convicts from the Tata Sumo, Mohammed Juber Sayyed Anwar, Mohammed Aamir Shakil Ahmed and Abdul Azeem Abdul Jameel Shaikh alias Raja.
They later recovered the Indica car and seized 10 AK-47 assault rifles, 3,200 bullets and 30 kg RDX packed in computer CPU. Abu Jundal drove the car and somehow he managed to escape the ATS team.
According to the crime branch, Jundal drove to Malegaon and there he handed over the car to his associate. In 2006, he escaped to Bangladesh and from there he fled to Pakistan with the help of LeT operatives with a fake visa. In 2012 when he was deported to India from Pakistan, he was arrested.
The prosecutor inspected 100 witnesses and more than 200 documents which proved that the arms that were seized were the possession of the accused. Also the ten convicts confessed the details of their conspiracy and revealed the others name who were involved in the case.
In 2013 the special court framed charges against the accused. But the Supreme Court stayed the trial for temporary period as one of the accused challenged the constitutional validity of certain provisions of MCOCA. The Bombay high Court directed the lower court in August last year to speed up the trial.