LUCKNOW: Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi, convicted in the Gorakhnath temple attack case in Gorakhpur, was sentenced to death by a special NIA-ATS court here on Monday. Murtaza was convicted by the court on charges under UAPA, for waging war against the country and murderous attack. He was held guilty on Saturday.
Two PAC constables had been injured in the attack on April 4, 2022. After Murtaza’s arrest his father, Munir Abbasi, had told TOI that his son had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic and was being treated by a psychiatrist since 2018. Abbasi, a chemical engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, who had worked in a top oil refinery in Jamnagar (Gujarat) before he became jobless and was allegedly radicalised, was present in court when the sentence was pronounced. He was also fined Rs 44,000.
The FIR in this connection was lodged by one Vinay Kumar Mishra at Gorakhnath police station on April 4, 2022. According to the FIR, Abbasi had entered the Gorakhnath temple premises on the day and attacked PAC constable Anil Kumar Paswan, who was posted at the temple for security, with a sharp-edged weapon. When another PAC man rushed to Pawan’s rescue, the accused also attacked him. Abbasi tried to snatch his rifle. He was overpowered and caught.
According to the FIR, while being apprehended he had chanted religious slogans. He was said to have been connected with a terror outfit. The investigation was conducted by the ATS. During the investigation weapons, laptops and material written in Urdu were recovered from him. Deputy SP Sanjay Verma had filed the chargesheet in the case.
The ATS produced Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi in the special court on April 25, 2022 in this case and also obtained remand. A lawyer was engaged for Murtaza at the expense of the government.
After Murtaza’s conviction, all attempts to contact Murtaza’s father Munir Abbasi, who is settled in Gorakhpur after retirement from a private firm, went in vain. However, just after Murtaza’s arrest after the temple attack in April last year, he had told TOI that his son was mentally disturbed and was being treated by Mumbai-based psychiatrist Dr Nilesh Shah for schizophrenia since 2018.
Munir said all of Murtaza’s test reports and medical history had been submitted to the ATS. Munir had told TOI that his son was mentally tortured and abused in his school and in the colony but was very good at studies and made it to IIT-Bombay. “We first got to know about his mental disorder when he joined an oil company in Jamnagar as a field officer.
We were informed that Murtaza used to stay in his room for days without eating or interacting with others,” Munir told TOI. He was then taken to a psychiatrist who recommended him to Dr Nilesh Shah. The doctor examined him and diagnosed schizophrenia. “Since then, we have never left him alone.
We took him to Coimbatore, where my father in-law lives, and then to Hyderabad thinking it was the result of some evil spirit,” he had added. Police had also claimed that his marriage lasted only 15 days in 2018. “Nobody in the area was invited, not even his own uncle who is a famous surgeon in the area,” a police official told TOI.
ATS sleuths, meanwhile, had claimed that the data extracted from Abbasi’s mobile, laptop, cloud and other electronic devices and their analysis from CFSL, New Delhi and the National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, proved that he was highly radicalised and believed in the ideology of ISIS.
The transactions conducted by Murtaza had also revealed that he used PayPal and was even financing the Al-Hol camp of ISIS fighters and sympathisers in Syria and preparing to leave for that country. The ATS in its chargesheet had also mentioned that Murtaza was influenced by ISIS’s lone-wolf attack style and hence had tried to attack the Gorakhpur temple.

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