Mumbai serial blasts:Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa among six convicted, one acquitted

Mumbai serial blasts:Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa among six convicted, one acquitted
Twenty-four years after serial blasts rocked Mumbai, a special anti-terrorism court on Friday convicted six people, including underworld don Abu Salem.

Fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s main landing agent and smuggler Mustafa Dossa was also convicted. The blasts on March 13, 1993, was the first major incident of urban terrorism in India and claimed 257 lives and injured 713, besides damaging property worth Rs 27 crore.

Additional Sessions Judge G A Sanap, who presides over a special court set up under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, also convicted Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui and Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Taklya. They were charged with the “grave charge of waging a war against the nation”.

The seventh accused, Abdul Quayyum, was, however, acquitted by the court.  The prosecution also could not prove conspiracy charges against Siddiqui, but he was convicted on other charges.

Salem does not face a death sentence because he was extradited from Portugal on the condition that India would not award him capital punishment. Salem had supplied the AK-56 assault rifle to Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. The remaining convicts face the maximum punishment as prescribed under the Indian laws, but the prosecution has to satisfy the court that it was a “rarest of rare” case.

The hearing on the quantum of sentence would commence from Monday.  Though the hearing in the case began in 2007, it was delayed as three petitions were filed before the Supreme Court, one each by Dossa and Salem, and another by CBI.

In the main trial, of the 123 accused, 100 were convicted by the TADA court, of whom 12 were given the death penalty.  The Supreme Court commuted the sentence to life imprisonment for all, except Yakub Memon, the brother of chief conspirator Tiger Memon. Yakub was hanged on June 30, 2015, at a Nagpur prison.

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