Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

Indian court sentences 2 convicts to death in 1993 Mumbai blasts case

Extradited gangster Abu Salem was found guilty in the case Extradited gangster Abu Salem was found guilty in the case on June 16
Andrew Cummings | 08 September, 2017, 00:49

An Indian court has sentenced Abu Salem, found guilty of 1993 Mumbai blasts, to life imprisonment. Before this, in 2007, the main trial had ended when the Tada Court convicted 100 accused of various offences.

The culprits sentenced Thursday were detained and tried separately from other suspects in the case as they were arrested towards the end of a previous trial, in which 11 people were sentenced to hang for perpetrating the deadly blasts.

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikkam announced that Salem had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

For perpetrating their heinous acts, the conspirators acquired and smuggled deadly arms and ammunition, detonators, hand grenades and almost three tonnes of the deadly RDX (Research & Development Explosive - or Cyclotrimethylene Trinitramine), which was used for the first time after World War II on such a scale.

Salem, who was close to (absconding accused Dawood Ibrahim's brother) Anees Ibrahim and Dossa, took upon himself the task of bringing a part of arms and ammunition from Dighi to Mumbai, the court had said.

Accused Riyaz Siddique also convicted under TADA and other charges, but court believed prosecution failed to prove conspiracy charges against Riyaz. If the government does that, then Salem would be out in the next 13 years, as he has already been in jail for 12 years.

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In 1993, 12 serial blasts rocked Mumbai that killed 257 and injured over 700 people.

Tahir Merchant and Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, two of the accused in the case, were awarded death sentence by the TADA Court. Second leg involving seven accused begins. On June 16this year, Special Judge GA Sanap convicted Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui and Tahir Merchant for their role in the blasts.

Salem had fled to Portugal, from where he was extradited in 2005 to face trial.

The sentencing was announced nearly three months after the five of them were convicted.

Salem, who was a prime suspect in the 1993 Mumbai bombings, was arrested in Portugal in 2002. CBI claimed that Dossa was "more severe" than Yakub Memon who was awarded capital punishment in July 2015.

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