Ajmer blast convicts Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel get life term

Arguments over the quantum of punishment were completed on March 18 and the court on Wednesday gave life imprisonment to both the surviving convicts

A court here on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment both the convicts for the Ajmer Dargah bombing which killed three people in 2007. The Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court sentenced Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel to life in prison.

The court had on March 8 acquitted RSS leader Swami Aseemanand and six others while convicting three others. The third person to be convicted was Sunil Joshi, who has died. The court also fined Rs 10,000 on Patel and Rs 5,000 on Gupta, both of whom claimed innocence.

“We will approach the High Court,” Lokesh Sharma, Patel’s advocate, told IANS.

“We are innocent and it is a political conspiracy against us,” Gupta told the media while coming out of the court.

The court found the three guilty for criminal conspiracy and action intended to outrage religious feelings besides charging them under the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Three of the 13 accused are still missing.

Three persons were killed and at least 15 others injured when a bomb exploded around 6.15 p.m. on October 11, 2007 inside the premises of the shrine of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer. The revered shrine is visited by thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims, both from India and abroad.