TNN | Jun 7, 2014, 02.40 AM IST
The two were found not guilty by Judge Geeta Gopi of the Speical Prevention Of Terrorism Act (Pota) court which had concluded the case hearing on May 23. During the trial, the prosecution noted that the recent judgement of the Supreme Court had acquitted six other accused in the same case.
Altaf Mallick, Abdulmiya Kadri, Mohammad Hanif Shaikh and Chand Khan aka Shan Miya who were serving jail terms ranging from 10 years to life were also acquitted by the Supreme Court.
Shaukatullah had been arrested by the sleuths of State Counter Intelligence Cell in 2009 as he arrived from Saudi Arabia at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport and handed over to the Gujarat police the same day. On the other hand, Patel, accused of managing funds for the terror attack, was arrested in 2008 from Bharuch district of Gujarat.
Shaukatullah, a resident of Kurmaguda under Madannapet police station limits, is the brother of terror suspect Farhatullah Ghori who is allegedly operating from Saudi Arabia. Farhatullah is wanted by the city police in numerous terror related cases including the suicide bomb attack on the Task Force head office in Begumpet and Sai Baba temple blast.
Two heavily armed terrorists had attacked Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar on September 24, 2003 killing and injuring several people. Shaukatullah who was in Gujarat at the time of the attack was suspected to be one of those who had provided base support to the Pakistani terrorists.
Prior to his arrest Shaukatullah was working as an imam in a mosque on Riyadh. The Gujarat police alleged that Shaukatullah in connivance with his brother Farhathullah had orchestrated the attack.