Kolkata’s American Center Attack: Supreme Court Commutes Death Sentence of Two Convicts
Kolkata – Two men convicted for the 2002 attack on the American Center in Kolkata won’t hang, the Supreme Court ruled today.
While commuting their death sentence, the court ordered one of the two convicts, Aftab Ahmed Ansari, to spend his entire life in jail. The other, Mohd. Jamiluddin, has been ordered to be in jail for 30 years without remission.
Ansari, an underworld don, and Nasir had approached the Supreme Court against their death sentence.
On the morning of January 22, 2002, two motorcycle-borne men had indiscriminately fired at policemen outside the American Center on Jawaharlal Nehru Road in Kolkata, killing six of them and injuring 14 others.
A session court had in April 2005 sentenced Ansari, Nasir and three others to death while acquitting two others. Five years later in February 2010, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court upheld the death sentence of Ansari and Nasir but commuted the capital punishment awarded to three others to seven years’ imprisonment.
The police came to know about the involvement of Ansari in the American Center attack from the statements given by two men who were injured in an encounter with a Delhi Police team in Jharkhand. They subsequently died.
Ansari was arrested from Dubai and was deported to India on February 9, 2002 to face trial. He was part of the terror outfit Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF) that reportedly had links with the Harkat-ul-Jehadi-e-Islam.
Ansari reportedly ran extortion and abduction rings in India and had set up bases in Kolkata, Agra, Mumbai, Malegaon and Surat.