The special National Investigation Agency court on Monday awarded death penalty to five members of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) for their roles in planning and executing the Dilsukhnagar blasts in 2013 which killed 18 people and injured 131 others. The court observed that this was the rarest of the rare cases and in order to ensure justice to the victims, the five terrorists should be hanged to death. This is the first case against the IM in which a court has given the death penalty. “The court observed that the case fell in the rare category because of the way it was planned and executed, causing the death of innocent people and injuring 131 people, many of whom are still struggling to lead a normal life,” said special public prosecutor K. Surender.
Yasin Bhatkal alias Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa from Karnataka, Asadullah Akthar from Uttar Pradesh, Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas from Pakistan, Tahseen Akhthar from Bihar and Aizaz Shaik from Maharashtra were found guilty and convicted on December 13 by the same court. The key conspirator in the case, Riyaz Bhatkal, is still at large and is believed to be living in Pakistan. The public prosecutor said that the NIA had produced evidence that the conspiracy was hatched in Mangalore. It also produced explosives which were seized from a house in Mangalore and the evidence of the purchase of pressure cookers and bicycles in Hyderabad that were used to set off the blast.