Death penalty to 4 convicts of Jaipur bomb blast

Death penalty to 4 convicts of Jaipur bomb blast

A special court on Friday gave the death sentence to the four men held guilty on charges of conspiracy in connection with the 2008 Jaipur serial bomb blasts that had left  71 people dead and 185 injured.

Eight serial bomb blasts had rocked Jaipur on May 13, 2008. The four convicts - Mohammad Saif, Mohammad Sarwar Aazmi, Mohammad Salman and Saifurrehman – will be hanged till death, the court said in its verdict. Shrichand special public prosecutor , " All four convict have been found guilty in all eight cases lodged against the. The death sentence has been delivered under sections 302 and 16 (1A) of Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA) act of IPC. Moreover we will appeal against the fifth accused Shahbaz who was acquitted by the court". 

Other than the Shahbaz Hussain, the four had been found guilty and booked under sections 302 (Punishment for murder), 326 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 324 and 120 B ( Punishment of criminal conspiracy,) under Indian Penal Code by special court on Wednesday.

Feeling disappointed with the judgement, Farooq Paker, amicus curiae for all four convicts said, "This is the first case where death penalty has been circumstantial evidence. There was no direct evidence all four were falsely implicated. There were nearly 1300 witnesses and I cross examined all of them but not single one could identify any of these four men planting a bomb on the bicycle. Also bicycle purchase bill produced in the court is different than the frame number of bicycle used in the bomb blast ". He said that he will appeal in the high court. 

Earlier on Wednesday four had been found guilty under various sections of IPC, Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act (UAPA), Explosives Act, and PDPP Act. In 2008, in the span of 20 minutes, eight blasts killed 71 people and left 170 injured.

Ajay Kumar Sharma, the presiding officer, pronounced the verdict, 11 years after the incident took place. Sharma is the eighth judge to hear the Jaipur blasts case so far. 

The trial was completed in the court with arguments from the defense as well as the prosecution had come to an end recently. During the trial prosecution has submitted the statements of around 1300 witnesses. The Rajasthan high court had set up a special court for the trial in the blast cases in the mini Secretariat Bani Park area, where the case was being heard.

One acquitted:

The fifth accused Shahbaz Hussain was acquitted by the court in all eight cases lodged against him. Shahbaz, who owned a shop in Lucknow was accused of sending the e-mail from a cyber cafe at Sahibabad in Uttar Pradesh, was consistently referred to as the mastermind of serial blasts in Jaipur. 

"The prosecutor failed to prove charges against him, which included sending an email and taking responsibility for the blasts. Hence the court acquitted Hussain in all the cases", Vyas added. According to the charge sheet filed by the police Shahbaz Hussain owned a cyber café in Sahibabad of Ghaziabad district in Uttar Pradesh. He was a member of the banned terrorist organization, the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). He was the first arrest.

Recalling the case

It was May 13 (Tuesday), 2008, when the first blast burst at Manak Chowk, followed by Chandpole Hanuman temple, Sanganeri Gate Hanuman temple, Johri Bazar,  Badi Chaupar, Choti Chaupar, Tripolia, Sargasuli. Moreover, two of the blasts took place next to the Police station at Manak Chowk and Kotwali police thana. According to a charge sheet filed by the special investigation team (SIT), the eight bombs were detonated between 7.20 pm and 7.45 pm. And the ninth bomb was made dysfunctional by the police. All these places where blasts erupted on the fateful night fall in the old city amidst the rush hour. 

The responsibility of these blasts was owned up by the Indian Mujahideen whose 11 members were involved in the barbaric act. 
The Special Operation Group and SIT initially investigated the case. Later the Rajasthan government had set up the anti-terror squad (ATS), which took over the investigation from SIT. 

According to the charge-sheet filed by the ATS, the bombs were strapped to bicycles, contained ammonium nitrate with ball bearings, and were wired to timing devices. They were packed with metal splinters or ball bearings to intensify heavy damage in the crowded areas.  As many as eight FIRs were registered in the matter (four in Kotawali police station) and (four in Manak Chowk Police station) in the Jaipur old city under various sections of the IPC.

Three still absconding

While two of the accused Mohammad Atik and Sajid Chhota, died in an encounter with police at Batla House, Delhi, in 2008. Last year Delhi police arrested one more accused Ariz Khan alias Junaid. Out of the 11 accused, three are still absconding. 

CM Ashok Gehlot tweeted:
"We welcome the decision of the special court on Jaipur blast. The guilty shouldn't be spared at any cost" 

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