Akshardham Terror Attack accused ‘Mastermind’ granted bail in 40 Days, National Media overlooks

Ahmedabad: Abdul Rashid Ajmeri, a key accused in 2002 Akshardham terror attack has been granted bail by the court and released from the Ahmedabad jail on 16th December. He was arrested in a dramatic style by Ahmedabad crime branch soon after he landed at the Ahmedabad International Airport from Saudi Arabia on 4th November.

The national media presented Ajmeri as a ‘mastermind’ and ‘main conspirator’ of the Akshardham terror attack. But in just 40 days, a special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court ordered his release on 15th December. But, no big media houses have covered his release news.

Ajmeri’s counsel Adv. Ilyas Khan while arguing before the judge PV Desai said that the accused was arrested after a gap of 15 years while the Supreme Court has already acquitted all the accused in the case including Ajmeri’s own elder brother Adam Suleman Ajmeri in 2014 for lack of  evidence against them. While the prosecutor opposed Ajmeri’s release on bail, the court granted him bail.

In the 2002 Akshardham terror attack, at least 32 people were killed. Days and months after the attack, at least half a dozen local Muslims including Ajmeri’s brother Adam Suleman Ajmeri were arrested for the attack.

In 2006, two of them including Adam Suleman Ajmeri were awarded death sentence and four others life sentence by the trial court. The Gujarat High Court had also upheld the verdict of the trial court. However, in 2014, the Supreme Court set aside the judgment and acquitted all the six convicts. The apex court had torn into the investigation agency for botching up the probe, stating that the evidence was not enough to uphold conviction of the accused.

After remaining in the limelight as ‘big terror catch’ for two days following his arrest, Abdul Rashid Ajmeri was buried somewhere by the media. He was provided legal help by the Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind.

Coincidentally, Rashid Ajmeri’s arrest took place just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a visit to the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar as he kicked off the campaign for the Gujarat Assembly elections.