Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Takla, a convict in the\u00a01993 Mumbai serial blast case, passed away early\u00a0on Wednesday\u00a0morning.\u00a0According to\u00a0Dr Bhushan Kumar Upadhyay, Additional Director General of Prisons Department (Maharashtra), Merchant, who was locked at the Yerawada Central Prison in Pune, complained of chest pain and breathing issues following which he was admitted to the Sassoon Hospital around\u00a03 am.\u00a0He died during treatment at\u00a03:45 am. Merchant, a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim, was extradited to India from Abu Dhabi and\u00a0was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2010.\u00a0According to police, Merchant had arranged the finance\u00a0for the blasts and was also linked to other conspirators Tiger\u00a0Memon. Merchant's role in the blast was huge but had managed to keep a low profile as he had no past criminal record said Rakesh Maria to The Hindu last year, who spearheaded the investigation into the case. \u201cHe was the one who coordinated between the ISI and the D gang, arranged for everything from explosives to weapons to money, and took care of training youth to participate in the blasts. In fact, the young men who went to Pakistan through Dubai stayed in flats owned by Merchant, and he was also present for motivational talks given to them,\u201d said Maria to The Hindu. In September last year, a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity (TADA) court granted death\u00a0sentence to Tahir Merchant.\u00a0The court had held that Merchant was amongst the\u00a0main conspirators of the blast. Merchant was convicted of conspiring, facilitating and knowingly commissioning acts of terror. The special court also awarded death sentence to Firoz Khan while it awarded life imprisonment to other accused Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan. Later, the Supreme Court had stayed the execution of death sentence of Tahir Merchant. "The evidence proves the anguish, agitation and frustration expressed by Tahir due to the situation prevailing in Bombay during the period of riots in January 1993," the court had\u00a0noted. He worked with (absconding conspirator) Tiger Memon,\u00a0participated in several conspiracy meetings in Dubai. Tahir\u00a0made travel arrangements,\u00a0financed the stay and travel of\u00a0several co-accused and facilitated their training in\u00a0Pakistan, the court noted. "The role of Tahir in a conspiracy is prominent. He is one of the initiators of the conspiracy," the court had said in its ruling in June 2017. Another convict in the case, Mustafa Dossa had died of\u00a0cardiac arrest at J J Hospital in Mumbai in June last year. The Mumbai blasts had left 257 people dead and 713\u00a0seriously injured. The blast also had destroyed properties worth Rs 27\u00a0crore.