A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Tuesday sentenced Abu Jundal and six others to life imprisonment in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case. The MCOCA court had last week convicted 12 people, including 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks plotter Jundal, in the 10-year-old case, which was apparently planned to eliminate a leader of national importance.
Of the five others who were convicted, two received a prison term of 14 years and the remaining three were sentenced to jail for eight years.
On Thursday, the MCOCA court, while convicting Jundal and the others, had dropped the MCOCA charges in the case. It, however, accepted the claims of the prosecution that Jundal wanted to target the likes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — then chief minister of Gujarat — and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia, following the attacks on Muslims in Gujarat after the Godhra train-burning incident of 2002.
It may be noted that Jundal, who also went by the aliases Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari aka Abu Hamza, has been associated with the the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Indian Mujahideen (IM). He has been accused in several cases and is believed to have been the plotter of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, besides handling the 10 terrorists who had perpetrated the attack. In fact, the sole captured 26/11 attacker, Ajmal Kasab, had identified Jundal as his handler.