New Delhi, Mar 30: An alleged LeT member, accused of being involved in the 2000 Red Fort attack along with Mohd Arif, who was awarded death sentence in the case, has been discharged by a Delhi court for want of linking evidence. Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Jain discharged Athruddin alias Athar Ali, holding that there was no evidence to connect him with the offence.
Ali is already serving life imprisonment in Lucknow under the provisions of repealed Prevention of Terrorist Act in another case. The court held there was nothing against Athruddin except a disclosure to the police which is not an admissible evidence.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police had alleged Athruddin was a member of LeT and remained in touch with Arif, who has been sentenced to death in the case. He had been slapped with the charges of waging war against the country, murder, attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
Athruddin was nabbed in 2001 after his name surfaced in terror activities. The police had brought Athruddin to Delhi in 2001, but he fled to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and was declared a proclaimed offender. The agency said Arif had disclosed that Athruddin had met two district commanders of Laskar-e-Toiba and had also attacked a police party in Srinagar.
In 2004, he came back to India and was planning to set up terror base in different parts of the country when he was nabbed by the Lucknow police and was sentenced to life imprisonment by a designated court in 2009.
The December 22, 2000 Red Fort attack saw LeT men sneaking into the 17th century monument and opening indiscriminate fire on the guards of seventh battalion of Rajputana Rifles, killing three persons, including a civilian. Arif was the prime accused in the case and awarded capital punishment.
The Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court had also upheld his death sentence.