Calcutta High Court upholds Aftab Ansari's death sentence

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Kolkata:  Calcutta High Court on Friday upheld the death sentence of Aftab Ansari and Jamiluddin Nasir but commuted the capital punishment awarded to three others to seven years imprisonment in the case of January 2002 attack on the American Centre here.

Two others were, however, acquitted in the case.

A division Bench, comprising Justice Ashim Banerjee and Kalidas Mukherjee, upheld the death sentence pronounced by a Sessions Court in April 2005 on Aftab Ansari -- the key accused in the case -- and Jamiluddin Nasir, his close aide.

The trial court had convicted seven persons and sentenced them to death. The convicts had then appealed against the judgement in the High Court in October last year. The judgement was pronounced today after a 77-day hearing by the Bench.

They were charged under sections 121 (waging war against the state), 121-A (conspiracy), 302 and 9 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC and 27(3) of the Arm's Act.

Ansari will have another three months to appeal before the Supreme Court against the verdict.

Two motorcycle-borne men had indiscriminately fired from an AK-47 assault rifle at policemen outside the American Centre on Jawaharlal Nehru Road early in the morning of January 22, 2002 killing six policemen and injuring 14 others.

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