Mumbai blasts convict Mustafa Dossa dead before sentencing

Mumbai blasts convict Mustafa Dossa dead before sentencing

Mumbai blasts convict Mustafa Dossa dead before sentencing
Notorious smuggler Mustafa Dossa, one of the key men behind the 12 March, 1993 serial blasts, who was part of the conspiracy and oversaw the landing of RDX and Kalashnikov assault rifles in the Raigad coast of Maharashtra, died on Wednesday following a massive heart-attack - a day after the CBI sought death penalty for him.

On 16 June, Additional Sessions Judge GA Sanap, who presides over a special court set up under Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), convicted him besides five others including Abu Salem, and is currenlty conducting hearing on quantum of sentence.

Dossa, 61, who was lodged at the Arthur Road prison, was shifted to the jail ward of the government-run Sir JJ Group of Hospitals at around 0330 hours following high-fever, hyper-tension and uncontrolled diabetes. He died of a heart attack around 1430 hrs. Last year, he had undergone a by-pass surgery.  The body is being sent for post-mortem before being handed over to the family.

"Mustafa Dossa had died of heart attack," Dr TP Lahane, the Dean of Sir JJ Group of Hospitals, said. His lawyer, Rizwan Merchant and CBI counsel Deepak Salvi, had been informed of the death.

On Tuesday, Salvi had described him as one of the "brains" behind the conspiracy and equated his role to that of Yakub Memon, who was hanged to death two years ago.  "If not for him (and other absconding accused) the crime would never have taken place....Just like the Supreme Court had held that Yakub Memon's deeds cannot be viewed distinct from the act of Tiger Memon (an absconding accused in the blasts case), the same can be attributed to Dossa and other suggestion would be futile and worth discarding at the first glance," Salvi had told the court.

In fact, the first conspiracy meeting was held at Dubai residence of his brother Mohammed Dossa, in which he too was present. In attendence were Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon. Thereafter, he oversaw the landing of RDX, AK-56 rfiles and grenades in the Raigad coast of Maharashtra ahead of the blasts.

The trial of the seven accused — Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Tahir Merchant and Abdul Quayyum — was separated from the main case as they were arrested at the time of conclusion of the main trial. Of the seven accused, Abdul Quayyum was acquitted for lack of evidence.  In the main trial, 100 accused were convicted of which Yakub Memon was executed.