20 June, 2017
Mumbai: Though a TADA court on Friday convicted second set of accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, there would be no "closure" as long as Dawood Ibrahim, the main conspirator, remains at large, former top cop M N Singh said.
Another accused Riaz Siddiqui was convicted under TADA charges but was acquitted of other charges framed against him because the court believed that the prosecution failed to prove charges of conspiracy against Siddiqui. The court, however, acquitted a seventh accused, Abdul Qayum. He had additionally given over to Actor Sanjay Dutt- - who was a charged for the situation for unlawfully having weapons- - AK 56 rifles, 250 rounds and some hand explosives at his living arrangement on January 16, 1993.
A special TADA court convicted six persons in the case.
On 12 March, 1993, Mumbai was rocked by 13 explosions in different parts of the city which caused 257 fatalities and injured over 700, according to News18.
Yakub was executed on July 30, 2015, after several of his clemency pleas were rejected, including a post-midnight hearing by the Supreme Court on the day he was hanged. The reason being an extradition treaty between India and Portugal. It is the biggest accusation, as well he could be given death sentence under TADA Act. "Abu Salem took it upon himself to perform the crucial task of moving and concealing arms and ammunitions that was vital towards the achievement of conspiracy so that the weapons could be used to terrorise and torment citizens of India", the judgment said.
The court however, acquitted all seven accused of waging war against the Government of India.
Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) counsel Deepak Salvi said this trial of the seven accused, arrested between 2003 and 2010, had to be conducted separately as they were detained only after a substantial portion of the previous trial had already been completed.
Besides Salem, four others have also been found guilty under various charges in the same case.
He said Tahir Merchant had facilitated training camps in Pakistan to give training in handling weapons and explosives to carry out the blasts.
Karimullah Khan has been held guilty of smuggling the explosives into the country through the Shekhadi Port in Raigad, while Siddiqui and Feroze Khan are guilty of transporting the explosives to the targeted sites.
However, the blasts victims demanded for hanging punishment or life imprisonment for the accused.
Considering the observation made by the Supreme Court of Justice, Portugal in its order on January 27, 2005, the court kept its order in mind. Dutt had claimed that he had the gun to protect his family as they had received threats during the Bombay riots that had followed the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, in December 1992. Riyaz Siddiqui will just draw in life sentence as he is not held blameworthy of criminal act.