Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind President, AIMPLB Vice-President & Darul Uloom Deoband Principal Arshad Madani to Challenge Conviction of Terrorists in Ahmedabad Blast Case

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A court in Ahmedabad sentenced 38 terrorists to death and 11 terrorists to life imprisonment in the 2008 Ahmedabad blast case on Friday (February 18). 56 people were killed, and over 200 were injured in the 2008 serial blasts.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind President, AIMPLB Vice-President and Darul Uloom Deoband Principal Maulana Sayyid Arshad Madani, commonly known as Arshad Madani, announced on Friday (February 18) that he would challenge the conviction of 49 terrorists in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blast case.

On Friday (February 18), a special court in Ahmedabad sentenced 38 terrorists to death, and 11 terrorists to life imprisonment for the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blast case in which 56 people were killed and over 200 were injured.

On February 8, special judge A R Patel had found 49 terrorists guilty. 38 accused were freed for lack of evidence. The quantum of sentence was announced on February 18.

Madani said that he would challenge the special court verdict in High Court and, if needed, in Supreme Court.

Ahmedabad was rocked with 21 blasts in 70 minutes on July 26, 2008. 56 innocent people lost their lives while over 200 were injured. The special court also imposed a fine of INR 2.85 lakh on every 48 convicts and INR 2.88 lakh on one convict.

A graduate of Darul Uloom Deoband, Arshad Madani has been the president of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind since 2006. In October 2020, Madani was appointed principal of Darul Uloom Deoband, an Islamic seminary in Uttar Pradesh. In November last year, Madani was elected the Vice-President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).

On February 7, the Saharanpur District Magistrate had ordered the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband to shut down its website till the completion of an inquiry into the illegal fatwas issued by the seminary.

In the second week of January this year, the NCPCR had asked the District Magistrate to conduct an inquiry into the illegal fatwas issued by the seminary and submit the report in two weeks.

When Saudi Arabia had banned Tablighi Jamaat last year, Darul Uloom Deoband had issued a statement on December 12 criticising Saudi Arabia’s decision, saying that linking Tablighi Jamaat with bidat (religious invention) and terrorism is baseless. It had asked Saudi Arabia to review the ban.

In the special court, the prosecution had argued that “By indulging in anti-national terror activities…they are not even required to be kept in the country’s jail and if they are kept in jail, then it will be equivalent to setting loose a man-eating leopard.”

Some of the convicted terrorists are convicts in other terror cases too. Safdar Nagori, general secretary of the banned terrorist organisation Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), was sentenced to life imprisonment by a CBI court in Indore in 2017 for terror activities. Terrorists Saif-ur-Rehman and Mohammad Saif have been awarded the death penalty for the 2008 Jaipur serial blast case.

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