Hyderabad: An alleged ISI operative and his aide from Telangana state were among the 12 convicted to life imprisonment for the murder of Gujarat’s former home minister Haren Pandya in 2003.
A team from the Gujarat police is reportedly travelling to Telangana state to take custody of Asghar Ali from Nalgonda and Mohammad Rauf from Saidabad in Hyderabad.
The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the appeals of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Gujarat government, challenging the Gujarat High Court order absolving the two men.
Asghar Ali, 44, is said to be the mastermind behind the killing of Pranay Kumar in Miryalguda town of Nalgonda district for marrying across caste lines. Interestingly, he was released on Thursday night from the Warangal Central Prison, following an appeal he had filed in the High Court in the Pranay Kumar case.
Haren Pandya was home minister when Narendra Modi was Gujarat Chief Minister, and was shot dead during his morning walk. The CBI claimed that his attackers were trained by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence. The recruits were taken to Pakistan by Rasul Parti, who is absconding, and Mufti Sufiyan Patangia.
The bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Arun Mishra pronounced the verdict on Friday on the appeals filed by the CBI and Gujarat government challenging the acquittal of the 12 persons facing charges.
A senior police officer told this newspaper, “Following the (Supreme Court) order, the public prosecutor in Pranay’s case was approached to learn the procedure to take Asghar Ali into custody. He will be handed over to the team from Gujarat.”
Asghar Ali is the son of a police constable and is accused in a dozen cases since 1999. The officer said that while he was in Warangal prison, Asghar Ali had joined hands with another terrorist and hatched plans to kill BJP leaders. Mohmmad Rauf, his close aide, is reportedly missing from his residence in Saidabad.
The other accused who were convicted on Friday are: Mohammad Rauf, Mohammad Parvez Abdul Kayum Sheikh, Parvez Khan Pathan alias Athar Parvez, Mohammad Farooq alias Haji Farooq, Shahnawaz Gandhi, Kalim Ahmeda alias Kalimullah, Rehan Puthawala, Mohammad Riaz Sareswala, Aniz Machiswala, Mohammad Yunus Sareswala and Mohammad Saifuddin.
The Supreme Court also dismissed a PIL filed by the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) which sought a court-monitored fresh probe into the Pandya murder case. The court imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the NGO for seeking a fresh investigation.
According to the CBI, prior to Pandya’s killing, the convicts had made an attempt to kill local VHP leader Jagdish Tewari on March 11, 2003....