The Supreme Court has upheld the legality of the death sentence awarded to Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Mohammad Arif, alias Ashfaq, in Red Fort attack case of December 2000, saying it falls within the rarest of rare cases.
A bench comprising Justice VS Sirpurkar and Justice TS Thakur on Wednesday said, “this was not only an attack on Red Fort or the Army stationed therein, this was an arrogant assault on the self respect of this great nation. It was a well-thought out insult offered to question the sovereignty of this great nation by foreign nationals. Therefore, this case becomes a rarest of rare case”.
The court dismissed the appeal of the Pakistani national challenging his death sentence in the case. On the chilling night of December 22, 2000, Lashkar militants stormed the Red Fort and started indiscriminate firing in which three Army Jawans belonging to 7th Rajputana Rifles were killed.
The trial court had awarded the militant death sentence and it was confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Upholding its legality, the Supreme Court bench said, “it was a direct attack on the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India by foreigners. Thus, it was an attack on Mother India”.
The court further said that the appellant had sneaked into India and hatched a conspiracy to wage a war against the nation culminating into unprovoked attack on the Army, causing three deaths. Economic Times