Death penalty for convict in Gorakhnath temple case

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Lucknow on Monday awarded the death sentence to Murtaza Abbasi, who was arrested last April in connection with an attack on security personnel deployed outside the Gorakhnath temple in 2022.

Special judge Vivekanand Sharan Tripathi convicted Mr. Abbasi under Section 121 (waging or attempting to wage war against the Government of India) and Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Mr. Abbasi, a chemical engineer by training, is a resident of Gorakhpur’s Civil Lines area and worked with two prominent companies. His family members said he had been going through mental health issues since 2017 and was under treatment. The Uttar Pradesh police and the ATS, which investigated the issue, said that he had sworn allegiance to the terror organisation Ansar-ul-Tauheed in 2013; the organisation merged with the IS in 2014.

The head priest of the temple is U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.