Close to four years after two bombs exploded in a crowded shopping area in Hyderabad, leaving 18 dead and several injured, an NIA special court on Monday sentenced to death all five people belonging to terror outfit Indian Mujahideen.
The five included co-founder of Indian Mujahideen Yasin Bhatkal.
The sentencing comes less than a week after the five accused were found guilty in the 2013 Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case by the same court.
All five were convicted under sections 302, 307, 324, 326, 121, 122, 201 read with 120B of the IPC, Sections 3 & 5 of The Explosives Substances Act and section 18, 19, 20, 38 (2), 39 (2) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.
However, accused number 1, Riyaz Bhatkal alias Mohammed Ismail Shahbandari (elder brother of Yasin Bhatkal) who is thought to be the key conspirator by the NIA, is still absconding.
The terror attack in Dilsukhnagar had killed at least 18 people after two bombs exploded one after the other on the evening of February 21, 2013.
One of the blasts took place at the bus stop and another took place near the A1 Mirchi Center, a popular snack stall in the area. The blasts were triggered by Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) tied to two bicyles that were placed in highly crowded areas for maximum impact.
Initially, the case was registered at the Saroornagar Police Station and was later transferred to the NIA.
The NIA had arrested accused Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi and Mohammed Ahmed Sidibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal from Bihar in August, 2013.
Later Zia ur Rahman alias Waqas alias Nabeel Ahmed and Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu alias Sameer were arrested in March, 2014 by a special cell of Delhi police and the Intelligence Bureau from Rajasthan.
Later, Ajaz Shaikh alias Samar Armaan Tunde alias Sagar alias Aizaz Saeed was arrested on September 5, 2014 from Uttar Pradesh.
During the course of the hearing, the NIA had submitted 201 pieces of evidence and produced 158 witnesses.
According to the NIA chargesheet, Riyaz had sent money to Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas through hawala channels who carried out the attack along with Tahseen Akhtar.