Twenty-four years after 13 blasts rocked Mumbai, a special Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) (TADA) court on Friday pronounced the verdict against the seven accused in the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
The special TADA court has found six of the accused guilty, while accused Abdul Qayyum was acquitted.
The blasts had claimed 257 lives in the city and left 713 people grievously injured. Among the seven accused in the case, Abu Salem is one of the prime accused. The others are Mustafa Dossa, Karimullah Sheikh, Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Taklya, Abdul Qayyum, Abdul Rashid Khan and Riyaz Siddiqui.
Abu Salem, who has been found guilty, was extradited from Portugal in 2005, was charged with supplying the arms and ammunition, including the deadly RDX, which were used in the blasts, reported ANI.
Besides Salem, four others have also been found guilty under various charges in the same case.
Mustafa Dossa, another prime accused was also pronounced guilty. He has been found guilty of taking part in the blasts conspiracy meetings held in India and Dubai before the terror strike was carried out at 12 targets in Mumbai, reported ANI.
He is also found guilty of arranging for the arms and ammunition for the blasts with his brother Mohammed Dossa and making travel arrangements for some of the persons involved to meet absconder mafia don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.
The others convicted are Karimullah Shaikh, Firoz Khan, Tahir Merchant and Riaz Siddiqui.
Karimullah Shaikh was held on August 21, 2008, and charged with smuggling arms into the country through the Shekhadi coast of Raigad district, reported ANI.
The court held that Tahir facilitated the supply of arms and the training of the accused in Pakistan. It termed his role ‚Äúcommunal‚ÄĚ and said he was one of the initiators of the conspiracy. ‚ÄúWith this kind of indulgence, he must be held directly responsible,‚ÄĚ held the court.
Court found accused Firoz Khan guilty of participating in conspiratorial meetings held at Dawood Ibrahim‚Äôs Dubai residence, reported ANI.
According to the CBI‚Äôs case, after the Babri Masjid demolition, communal violence broke out in different parts of the country, including Mumbai. The blast was a ‚Äėrevenge‚Äô for the demolition and the subsequent riots planned by the accused under the leadership of Dawood Ibrahim and Ibrahim Mushtaq Abdul Razak Memon (Tiger Memon), reports the Indian Express. Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon continue to remain absconding along with 31 others.
According to the Indian Express, CBI claimed that Mustafa smuggled the arms, ammunition, and explosives for the serial bombings ‚ÄĒ which, according to the CBI, was the first ever terrorist attack in the world in which RDX (Research Department Explosive i.e cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine) was used on such a large scale after the Second World War,
The TADA court had convicted 100 people during the first leg of the trial in 2010. Actor Sanjay Dutt was earlier sentenced to five years in jail for possession of arms, which were a part of the consignment used in the 1993 blasts, according to Times Now.
All the accused have been acquitted of the charge of waging war against the nation.
The next hearing will be held on June 19, when the date for arguments on the quantum of sentences will be decided.
With IANS inputs