The Crime Branch of the Ahmedabad Police, early on Saturday, arrested the key conspirator behind the attack at the Akshardham temple in Gujarat’s Gandhinagar, PTI reported.
Two militants, allegedly with Lashkar-e-Taiba links, had killed 32 people and injured over 80 after storming into the temple on September 24, 2002, with guns and hand grenades. Three commandos of the National Security Guard and an officer of the State Reserve Police Force also died in the attack. Both militants were shot dead.
Abdul Rashid Ajmeri was arrested at the Ahmedabad airport as soon as he arrived from Riyadh. We had inputs that he was travelling to Ahmedabad from Riyadh to meet his brother,” said Deepan Bhadran, deputy commissioner of the Crime Branch.
In May 2014, the Supreme Court had acquitted his brother and five others in the case, including three sentenced to death.
Ajmeri had allegedly planned the attack and helped the Lashkar-e-Taiba execute it. He had “absconded to Riyadh before the terror act was committed” Bhadran said, adding that the suspect has been naming others during interrogation.