Indian court convicts six over 1993 Mumbai blasts

Indian court convicts six over 1993 Mumbai blasts

Indian court convicts six over 1993 Mumbai blasts

Mumbai: Retired IPS officer Rakesh Maria, who headed the probe in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts, today welcomed the conviction of six persons, including mastermind Mustafa Dossa and gangster Abu Salem, in the case.

In 2013, earlier the court had dropped certain charges against Salem, after the investigating agency, CBI moved a petition saying those charges were against the extradition treaty between India and Portugal.

One suspect, Abdul Qayyum, was let off for want of evidence.

The country's commercial capital witnessed an unprecedented terrorist attack when a series 12 bomb explosions took place one after another in about a span of two hours. The blasts were the first-ever terror attack globally where RDX was used on such a large scale after the Second World War.

Friday's verdict stands out since the evidence adduced in the main trial was also used in the second one.

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Special judge G.A Sanap convicted Siddiqui only for helping Salem and others transport arms.

The hearings of the seven were separated as they were arrested at the time of conclusion of the main trial.

Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan: On January 8, 1993, two months ahead of the blasts, Mohammed Dossa (absconding brother of Mustafa Dossa) sent Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan and another accused to Alibagh and Mhasla to inform Customs officials and landing agents about the landing (of arms and explosives) that was to take place the next day.

The court will start hearings from June 19 to decide the quantum of the sentences. Riyaz Siddiqui, 67, was found guilty for abetting and aiding terrorism, a charge that attracts a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

Tahir Merchant alias Taher Taklya: He attended conspiracy meetings in Dubai and motivated his associates to arrange men from Mumbai to be sent to Pakistan for arms training.

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However, according to ABP News, the former Dawood aide can not be tried for offences other than the ones mentioned in the extradition request or those that invited a death penalty due the extradition treaty between India and Portugal. Portugal, as a member of the European Union, is against capital punishment.

India says the attack was masterminded by Memon's brother, Dawood Ibrahim, a mafia don.

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The bombings were ordered by Islamic militants in revenge for the demolition of Babri Masjid - a 16th-century mosque - by Hindu extremists, the prosecution claims.

Their nefarious triple objectives were to "overawe" the Government of India, strike terror among the people, alienate sections of the people to create communal discord, besides other intentions. "Full sense of justice is denied to the victims due to government's inability to bring Dawood and other main conspirators to justice", said Singh, a former Mumbai Police Commissioner. "Therefore, if any decision is taken contrary to the spirit of the Indian laws, and also contrary to the spirit of the solemn sovereign assurance given by the then Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani and understood by the Supreme court of Justice, Portugal in its judgment dated 27/01/2005, then very serious repercussions could follow".

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