Source Pravda.Ru

Special court on Monday prepares to sentence Pakistani national, six Indians

A special court on Monday prepared to sentence a Pakistani national and six Indians, a week after they were convicted of a 2000 attack at the 17th century Red Fort in India's capital that killed two soldiers and a civilian.

Pakistani Mohammed Arif, who police said is a member of the outlawed Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, was found guilty of waging war against India, a crime punishable with a death sentence. Arif's Indian conspirators Nazir Ahmed Qasid and his son Farooq Ahmad Qasid face a similar sentence. Police did not identify them as members of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.

Last Monday, Judge O.P. Saini found Arif, who police say used the alias of Ashfaq, guilty of murder, criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, illegal possession of arms and ammunitions and illegal entry into India.

Militants stormed into the Mughal-era monument on Dec. 22, 2000, firing at guards of an army battalion based there. Two soldiers and a civilian were killed. The rebels fled.

Arif's Indian wife Rehmana Yousuf Farooqi was found guilty of harboring an offender, but was acquitted of the more serious charges of waging war against the country. Others convicted included a man who ran an Internet cafe and helped Arif.

Four others were acquitted.

Police tightened security around the court where the judge was to deliver the sentence Monday, just days after a series of blasts in the Indian capital killed 59 people and wounded 210 others.

Police have yet to name any suspects in the weekend blasts, but experts have pointed to Lashkar's involvement.

Lashkar-e-Tayyaba is the most feared of dozens of Islamic militant groups fighting security forces in India's portion of Kashmir for the region's independence or its merger with Pakistan, reports the AP. I.L.

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