Mumbai blasts 1993 verdict: Life for Abu Salem, Karimullah; death sentence awarded to Tahir Merchant, Feroz Khan

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Updated: September 7, 2017 1:53:25 PM

Mumbai blasts 1993 verdict: A special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity (TADA) Court today pronounced the quantum of punishment for 1993 Mumbai Bomb Blasts Case convict Abu Salem.

Mumbai blasts 1993 verdict, Mumbai blasts 1993, Abu Salem,  TADA court, Karimullah, Mumbai Bomb Blasts Case, life inmprisonment, Mumbai blasts 1993 verdict: The TADA court has awarded life imprisonment for the dreaded gangster, who escaped the death sentence. (Reuters)

Mumbai blasts 1993 verdict: A special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity (TADA) Court today pronounced the quantum of punishment for 1993 Mumbai Bomb Blasts Case convict Abu Salem. The TADA court has awarded life imprisonment for the dreaded gangster, who escaped the death sentence courtesy the fact that the Portugal government at the time of his extradition had insisted that the death sentence should not be handed to him by the courts here. On June 16, 2017, the court had convicted six people, including mastermind of the blast Mustafa Dosa and Abu Salem. Following the conviction in June, arguments over the degree of punishment continued which concluded on August 10. All the accused were facing multiple charges of criminal conspiracy, waging war against the government and murder of people. This was the second leg of the trial – in the first leg that concluded in 2007, the TADA court had convicted 100 accused in the case, while 23 people were acquitted.

In the blasts, 257 people were killed and over 700 injured as a series of massive explosions ripped through the financial capital of India on March 12, 1993. Investigators had said the bombs were ordered by India’s most wanted man, gangster Dawood Ibrahim to avenge the demolition of the historic Babri mosque in 1992.

Though death penalty was sought for convict Karimullah, the court has awarded life term to him and also slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh. Tahir Merchant has been sentenced to death while Riyaz Siddiqui has been awarded 10 years in jail in connection with case. The court had earlier held that prosecution proved Salem was one of the main conspirators and he delivered three AK-56 rifles and ammunition and hand grenades to actor Sanjay Dutt (convicted in earlier phase of trial under the Arms Act). Ahead of the hearing, Advocate Deepak Salvi indicated that most of the convicts are likely to get death sentences.

Earlier the court had convicted all except Riyaz Siddiqui under charges including murder, criminal conspiracy and other sections of the Indian Penal Code, TADA Act, Explosive Substances Act, Explosives Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

Salem and Karimullah were sentenced to concurrent life sentences on two separate counts each.

The case against Mustafa Dossa was closed because he died on June 28 while the sentencing arguments were going on in court. CBI claimed that Dossa was “more severe” than Yakub Memon who was awarded capital punishment in July 2015. According to CBI, Dossa, Merchant and Feroz, were “main conspirators”.

 

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