An anti-terror squad (ATS) court in Lucknow has on Monday awarded an IIT Mumbai engineer, Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi, death penalty for injuring two security personnel in April, 2022 by breaching the security of Gorakhnath temple.
Special judge of the ATS court, Vivekanand Sharan Tripathi sentenced the 35-year-old convict under Section 121 of the Indian Penal Code (waging war against the country) following the eight-month-long trial, by rejecting his contention that he was mentally unwell.
On April 3, 2022, Abbasi had attacked provincial armed constabulary personnel Anil Kumar Paswan deployed at the gates of the Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur. After injuring Paswan, he injured two other constables of PAC, after which he was arrested on being overpowered by the security personnel. Police initially termed him as a “lone wolf”, but later said it was a terror attack.
The police also reportedly claimed that Abbasi was trained by terror outfit Islamic State.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is the head priest of the influential Gorakhnath Temple.
On April 4, 2022, PAC personnel Vinay Kumar Mishra lodged a first information report at the Gorakhnath police station under sections 186 (for voluntarily obstructing public servant in discharge of his public functions), 153-A (wanton vilification or attack upon the religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc), 304 (attempt to murder), 332 (causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 333 (causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 353 (causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty) and 394 (causing hurt in committing robbery) of the IPC.
Besides, section 7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act was invoked against him for causing panic through his act. During the investigation, sections 16/18/20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) were also imposed on him.
As many as 30 witnesses, including security personnel Vinay Kumar Mishra, PAC personnel Anil Kumar Paswan and Gopal Gaur, and a doctor were examined during the trial.
As per information available, Abbasi had obtained a chemical engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2015 and lived in Mumbai and Jamnagar before returning to Gorakhpur in 2020. He father is a retired bank official and uncle a reputed doctor in Gorakhpur.