A special court here is likely to give its verdict in the 2005 Ayodhya terror attack case on Tuesday after 14 years.
Seven people, including five alleged Jaish-e-Mohammad operatives and two local residents (Ramesh Panda and Shanti Devi) were gunned down, while seven CRPF jawans were injured in the attack on July 5,2005.
The UP police had arrested five people, Irfan, Ashiq Iqbal alias Farooque, Shakeel Ahmed, Mohammad Naseem and Mohammad Aziz, in the case and they are lodged at Naini jail in Allahabad. Dr Irfan hails from UP’s Saharanpur district while others are residents of Poonch in Jammu.
Sources here on Monday said Special Judge (SC/ST) Dinesh Chand had fixed June 18 for pronouncement of judgment in 2005 terror attack in Ayodhya. Police had arrested five people on various charges including hatching conspiracy and providing logistic and material help to terror suspects, who were gunned down at the site.
A total of 63 prosecution witnesses were examined by the court during the long hearing underway through video conferencing from Naini jail where the five accused are lodged.
As per the incident, on July 5, 2005, the heavily guarded Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid complex was attacked by armed terrorists. The attack was foiled by security officials and the attackers were killed after an hour long encounter.
The terrorists were from the Islamic terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, and were suspected to have entered India through Nepal. They posed as pilgrims on their way to Ayodhya, and boarded a Tata Sumo at Akbarpur near the Kichaucha village in Faizabad. At Faizabad they abandoned the Sumo and hired a jeep driven by a driver, Rehan Alam Amsari.
According to a statement by the driver, the terrorists visited the Ram Temple at Ayodhya in the morning of July 5, 2005 where they prayed, possibly to reinforce the impression that they were indeed pilgrims. The terrorists then drove the jeep into the Ram Janmabhoomi site, and forced the driver out of the vehicle, banging the jeep against the security cordon. At 9005 hours, they hurled M67 grenades from 50 metres away to breach the cordon fence. Ramesh Pandey, a pilgrim guide who happened to be near the site at this moment, died on the spot as a result of the grenade blast.
Firing indiscriminately, the five terrorists entered the Mata Sita Rasoi. Returning the gunfire, a platoon of 35 CRPF soldiers killed all five of the terrorists in a gunfight that lasted for over an hour. Three CRPF soldiers also received serious injuries and, as of July 2008, two remain comatose. All the terrorists died within 100 meters of the site.
The investigating team tracked the phone calls made from the cell phones carried by the terrorists using the IMEI numbers. The Police recovered a single RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher, five Type 56 assault rifles, five M1911 pistols, several M67 grenades and some jihadi documents.
On August 3, 2005, four suspects– Asif Iqbal, Mohammed Aziz, Mohammed Nasim and Shaqeel Ahmed– were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the bombing. A fifth man, Irfan Khan, was arrested a few days later.