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Ajmer's TADA court acquits Abdul Karim Tunda in 1993 serial blasts case

The 81-year-old Tunda, a close aide of wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, was accused of carrying out blasts in five trains in different cities in December 1993 to mark the first anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.
Last Updated 29 February 2024, 07:38 IST

Jaipur: The TADA court in Ajmer on Thursday acquitted Abdul Karim alias Tunda, the key accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case, for lack of evidence, in a case that stretched over 30 years.

The incident goes back to December 6, 1993 when a series of bomb blasts hit Rajdhani Express trains across different parts of the country including Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Hyderabad and Surat, which the terrorists claimed was to mark the first anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid.

Five cases were registered in Kota, Valsad, Kanpur, Allahabad and Malka Giri and were later transferred to the CBI and later re-registered under TADA Terrorists And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. In 1994, CBI clubbed all the cases and sent it to the TADA court in Ajmer. There are three TADA courts in the country: Ajmer, Mumbai and Srinagar.

The TADA court in Ajmer acquitted Tunda, 80, because of lack of evidence as it could not be proven that he was present at these sites or had a hand in the blasts. Two other accused Irfan, 70 and Hamiduddin, 44, were sentenced to life imprisonment. All the three were presented before the TADA court in Ajmer on Thursday morning around 11 am amidst tight security.

Twenty years back, on 28 February, 2004, the TADA court had awarded life imprisonment to 16 accused. The Supreme Court later acquitted four out of the 16 and kept the sentence same for the other accused, who were lodged in jail in Jaipur.

Tunda was arrested in 2013 from a place near India-Nepal border in Uttarakhand. He is said to be an expert in bomb-making and even nicknamed Doctor Bomb. He was said to be close to Dawood Ibrahim and associated with terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Indian Mujhahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Babbar Khalsa.

Tunda’s lawyer Shafkatullah Sultani said the CBI had left large loopholes in their investigations. Other than not presenting the chargesheet, the CBI could not get any witness to identify Tunda in the court and no witness testified his direct involvement in the case. The CBI also failed to establish that Tunda made those bombs, or kept them in his possession or that he was the mastermind of the entire incident.

Tunda, whose one hand is said to have been blown off, told reporters that truth can never remain hidden.

The CBI lawyer Bhawani Singh said they would appeal against the acquittal in the Supreme Court.

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(Published 29 February 2024, 07:31 IST)

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