After death penalty announcement, terrorist Waliullah’s village wears a deserted look after the Varanasi blasts

His native village wore a deserted look the day after Ghaziabad’s district court handed down a death sentence to Waliullah Khan for the 2006 serial bomb blasts in Varanasi.

Khan resides in the village of Sarai Lily, alias Khojapur, in the Phulpur tehsil of Prayagraj district.

On March 7, 2006, the first blast took place inside the Sankat Mochan temple and another bomb exploded outside the first-class retiring room at Varanasi cantonment railway station. A cooker bomb was also found near the railings of a railway crossing in Dashashwamedh Police Station the same day. Khan was acquitted in the cooker bomb case owing to inadequate evidence, while he was convicted in the other two.

In the fast track court of Prayagraj, an appeal against Khan’s sedition case is also pending. Hearings will be held on June 27.

A police case filed against Khan in Phulpur police station led to his arrest on April 18, 2001 on charges of sedition. The Indian government accused him of waging a war against it, of doing jihad, and of collecting literature to support his cause.

Khan was accused along with his brothers – Ubaid Ullah, Wasi Ullah and Uzair Alam. Another accused Mustaqeem is still on the run, while Ubaid Ullah, Wasi Ullah, and Uzair Alam are on bail.

The prosecution has presented 23 witnesses, according to District Government Counsel (Criminal) Gulab Chandra Agrahari. A witness has also been presented on behalf of Khan in addition to the witnesses for the defence. Nisha Jha is the first judge on the fast-track court hearing this case, he says. If convicted, Khan could face life in prison.

According to Gulab Chandra Agrahari, Khan was conspiring to avenge the Babri Masjid demolition. His ties with Pakistan’s terrorist organization Jaish-e-Mohammed were also unearthed, besides being related to Pakistani terrorists Salim Sajjad and Pappu, who were killed in Lucknow in an encounter with the police.

He has been presented several times in the district court of Prayagraj from Ghaziabad court.