Red Fort attacker loses death penalty appeal


A Pakistani militant convicted of murder and waging war against India for an attack at New Delhi’s historic Red Fort in December 2000 lost his appeal against execution in the Supreme Court Wednesday.
The court refused to quash the death penalty handed down to Mohammed Arif, who used the alias Ashfaq for his role in the gun attack that killed three people at the 17th century tourist attraction.
“The death sentence has been confirmed,” Justice VS Sirpurkar and Justice TS Thakur said.
Ashfaq and five other armed men sneaked into the Red Fort late on December 22, 2000, and opened fire, killing a soldier, an army barber and a civilian working for the military.
The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place in the heart of Delhi. About 1,000 soldiers are garrisoned at the Red Fort. Ashfaq was found guilty in 2005 of waging war against India and murder. His last avenue of appeal is now to seek clemency from India’s President Pratibha Patil.