Pakistani terrorist who attacked Red Fort will be hanged, President rejects mercy petition

Ananya Shroff
2 Min Read

New Delhi: President Draupadi Murmu has rejected the mercy petition of Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq, convicted in the nearly 24-year-old Red Fort attack case, officials said on Wednesday. This is the second mercy petition rejected by the President after assuming office on July 25, 2022.

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The Supreme Court had given the death sentence two years ago
The Supreme Court had on November 3, 2022, rejected Arif's review petition and upheld the death sentence awarded to him in the case. However, experts believe that the death row convict can still approach the apex court to reduce his sentence on the ground of long delay under Article 32 of the Constitution.

The President also rejected the petition
Citing the President's Secretariat's order of May 29, officials said Arif's mercy petition was received on May 15, which was rejected on May 27. The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence, saying there was no evidence in Arif's favor that reduced the gravity of his crime. The apex court emphasized that the attack on the Red Fort was a direct threat to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country.

In the attack, infiltrators had fired on the unit of 7 Rajputana Rifles deployed at the Red Fort complex on December 22, 2000, resulting in the martyrdom of three Army personnel. Arif, a Pakistani national and a member of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was arrested by the Delhi Police four days after the attack. The 2022 order of the apex court said, 'The appellant-accused Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq was a Pakistani national and had illegally entered Indian territory.' Arif was found guilty of conspiring to carry out the attack along with other terrorists and was sentenced to death by the subordinate court in October 2005. The Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court upheld the verdict in subsequent appeals.

(With agency inputs)

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