June 17, Ahmedabad, A new twist to the Akshardham terror tale: The car used by the terrorists to travel from Anantnag to Bareilly has been tampered with, that too in police custody. The number on the licence plate KMT 413, also mentioned in the chargesheet, has been changed to KMT 4131.
The defence lawyer in the Akshardham attack case brought this to the designated POTA court’s notice on Thursday. On Friday, the POTA court directed the registrar of the City Civil Court to draw a ‘‘panchnama’’ of the car. The court also directed ACP (Crime Branch) G.L. Singhal to lodge a complaint regarding tampering of evidence.
On September 24, 2002, two terrorists dressed in army fatigues had stormed the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar. They were armed with AK-47 rifles and entered the premises through gate number 3. They had left 36 people dead and more than 70 injured before they were shot dead by NSG commandos.
According to the prosecution, Chand Khan Sajjad Khan, the alleged mastermind of the attack, had dropped the two terrorists — Mohammad Amjad Bhai from Lahore and Hafiz Yasir from Attock in J-K — at Bareilly in UP in a metallic blue Ambassador car. The car was first seized by J-K Police and was later brought to Gujarat by the Crime Branch. ‘‘The car was used to drop the terrorists. It was also used to carry AK-47 assualt rifles and hand grenades,’’ said Special Public Prosecutor Sudhir Bhrambhatt.
The car was kept in an open plot near a petrol pump at Crime Branch Police Station. On Thursday, it was found that the number plate bore the changed number. The chassis number and engine number were same, but the right rear wheel was missing.
Source: Indian Express