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IM operative gets five years in jail for escaping from court


Mumbai : Afzal Usmani, a key member of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, was today convicted and sentenced by a magistrate’s court here to five years’ imprisonment for escaping from the special MCOCA court in September 2013.

“His nephew Javed Khan was also sentenced to five years in jail,” special public prosecutor Vaibhav Bagade said.

Usmani, a known car thief, fled from the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court here on September 20, 2013 and was rearrested by state anti-terrorism squad on October 28, 2013, from near the Indo-Nepal border.

He is facing trial here for sending e-mails, alongwith others, on IM’s behalf to media organisations in which the terror outfit took responsibility for various blasts.

Bagade said Usmani was convicted for the offences of escaping from custody and forgery, while Javed was convicted for harbouring Usmani after the escape.

In the trial which lasted more than six months, the prosecution examined 12 witnesses while the defence examined three witnesses on its side.

According to the police, Usmani was involved in stealing four cars which were used to transport explosives to Ahmedabad and Surat. He was also charged with planting bombs.

A series of 21 blasts rocked Ahmedabad on July 26, 2008, killing 56 people and injuring over 200.

Many of the blasts targeted the city bus service and two blasts took place inside the premises of hospitals about 40 minutes after the initial series of blasts.

Between July 28 and 30, 2008, 26 unexploded bombs were found at various locations in Surat. Two cars filled with material required for making explosives and detonators were also found.

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