Prayagraj: It has taken the judiciary 14 years to pronounce the verdict in the 2005 Ayodhya terror attack case that killed two civilians along with the five Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists who perpetrated the attack on July 5 that year. The special court hearing the case sentenced four of the accused to life imprisonment and acquitted one person.

Special judge Dinesh Chandra, who was hearing the case, announced the verdict in a special court in Prayagraj (erstwhile Allahabad) on Tuesday. The accused were locked up in the Naini Central Jail in Prayagraj.

The JeM terrorists had barged into the makeshift complex at the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site. The security personnel and militants had engaged in a long gunfight that lasted close to two hours.

Due to security constraints, the verdict was pronounced in the prison where the accused – Irrfan, Mohammad Shakeel, Mohammad Naseem, Mohammad Aziz, Asif Iqbal and Farookh – are locked up.

The terrorists allegedly entered India via the Nepal border posing as pilgrims who were en route to Ayodhya. When they reached the premises, they hurled a grenade. A pilgrim guide named Ramesh Pandey died as he was near the site of the blast. The terrorists then entered Mata Sita Rasoi and opened indiscriminate firing. A battery of 35 Central Reserve Police Force personnel arrived and killed the five terrorists after the long gunbattle.

The police later recovered heavy stash of arms and ammunition on the terrorists, including five AK-56 assault rifles, five M1911 pistols, an RPG-7 grenade launcher, M67 grenades, along with other incriminating documents.
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