Nation Current Affairs 17 Jun 2017 1993 Mumbai blasts: ...

1993 Mumbai blasts: Abu Salem, 5 others convicted

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | KALPESH MHAMUNKAR
Published Jun 17, 2017, 12:43 am IST
Updated Jun 17, 2017, 2:56 am IST
Abu Salem
 Abu Salem

Mumbai: The special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court on Friday found guilty six of the seven accused in the March 1993 blasts case, including extradited mafia don Abu Salem and gangster Mustafa Dossa.

Abdul Qayyum Shaikh, an alleged member of Dawood Ibrahim’s gang, is the lone accused who was acquitted of all charges.

The court held the accused guilty of charges related to involvement in criminal conspiracy and other charges of the TADA, Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and the Arms Act. The main trial in the case by the TADA court had led to the conviction of 100 accused out of a total of 123 in 2006, while 23 people were acquitted. The court has set Monday as the next hearing date to decide on arguments on the quantum of sentence to be awarded.

Shaikh acquitted, but can’t leave India
Special TADA Judge Govind A. Sanap has convicted Salem, Dossa, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui and Tahir Merchant. Much to the relief of one accused, the court acquitted Abdul Qayyum Karim Shaikh and pronounced that he would not leave country till the other accused receive their punishment.

Speaking to this newspaper, Shaikh said, “I have been in custody for the past 10 years and eight months. From beginning I have been shouting that I am innocent. Had I been convicted it would have been the most embarrassing thing to go through”

Harun Merchant, a relative of Tahir Merchant, said, “Our lawyer has not appeared today in court. When we get a copy of judgment we will decide whether it needs to be challenged or not.”   

On March 12, 1993 Mumbai a series of 12 explosions took place one after another in a span of two hours, killing 257 people, seriously injuring 713 and destroying property worth Rs 27 crore.

The blasts occurred at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Katha Bazaar, Lucky Petrol pump near Sena Bhavan, opposite Passport office near Century Bazaar, Fishermen's colony at Mahim Causeway, at the basement of the Air India Building, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Plaza Theatre, Centaur Hotel in Juhu, Sahar Airport (Bay no.54) and Centaur Hotel near the airport.

March 12, 1993
The country's commercial capital witnessed an unprecedented terrorist attack when a series 12 bomb explosions took place one after another in about a span of two hours.

The attack

  • This was the first-ever terrorist attack in the world where RDX (Research Department Explosive i.e cyclotrimethylene trinitramine) was used on such a large-scale after the Second World War.
  • According to the prosecution, the attack was to avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid.
  • The terror conspiracy was hatched by the fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim along with other absconding accused Tiger Memon, Mohammed Dossa and Mustafa Dossa

Prolonged legal battle

  • June, 1995: Trial begins in the TADA court in Mumbai, which is housed in the high-security Arthur Road Central Prison.
  • September 2006: 100 accused — including Yakub Memon (brother of prime accused Tiger Memon) and actor Sanjay Dutt — are convicted.
  • July 13, 2006: Gangster Abu Salem’s trial is separated from the other accused.
  • July 27, 2007: The death sentence is awarded to Yakub by TADA Judge P.D. Kode.
  • July 30, 2015: Yakub is hanged to death.
  • July 16, 2017: The second set of six accused are convicted, including Abu Salem and Mustafa Dossa.

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