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1993 Mumbai blasts: Abu Salem, others convicted; all to know about the case

Here are all the details you need to know about the dastardly 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case

BS Web Team & Agencies  |  New Delhi/Mumbai 

Abu salem
Abu Salem

Mustafa Dossa, a key mastermind of the case, and extradited gangster were on Friday convicted by a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (Tada) court.
 
While Dossa was convicted on charges of conspiracy and murder under various sections of the IPC, besides offences under the Tada Act, the Arms Act and the Explosives Act, Salem was found guilty of transporting weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai ahead of the blasts.

Salem had also handed over to actor Sanjay Dutt-- who was an accused in the case for illegally possessing weapons-- AK 56 rifles, 250 rounds and some hand grenades at his residence on January 16, 1993. Two days after supplying the arms, on January 18, 1993 Salem and two others had gone to Dutt's house and got back two rifles and some rounds.

The trial of the seven accused -- Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, and Abdul Quayyum – had been separated from the main case as they were arrested at the time of conclusion of the main trial.

Abdul Qayyum was acquitted of all charges and the court ordered his release against a personal bond. As for Riaz Siddiqui, though he was convicted, the Tada Court said it believed the prosecution failed to prove charges for conspiracy.
 
Earlier, the court had dropped certain charges against Salem in 2013 after the investigating agency –the Central bureau of Investigation (CBI)-- moved a plea saying those charges were against the extradition treaty between India and Portugal.
 
Dossa allegedly masterminded the landing of explosives including RDX in India and sent some youth to Pakistan to acquire arms training to execute the blasts.
 
The dastardly attacks had left 257 dead, 713 persons seriously injured and destroyed properties worth Rs 27 crore.
 
In the first leg of the trial that concluded in 2007, the Tada court had convicted 100 accused in the case, while 23 persons were acquitted.
 
On 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 blasts took place at Bombay Stock Exchange, Katha Bazaar, Lucky petrol pump near Sena Bhavan, opposite Passport office near Century Bazaar, Fishermen's colony at Mahim Causeway, at basement of Air India Building, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Plaza Theatre, Centaur Hotel (Juhu), Sahar Airport (Bay no.54) and Centaur Hotel (near airport).
 
This was the first ever terrorist attack in the world after the Second World War that had seen the use of RDX (Research Department Explosive i.E cyclotrimethylene trinitramine) on such a large-scale.
 
According to the prosecution, in order to avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid, members of the crime syndicate under the fugitive don along with other absconding accused Tiger Memon, Mohammed Dossa and Mustafa Dossa hatched a conspiracy to commit terrorist acts in India.
 
The prosecution said that the object of the crime was to commit terrorist acts with an intent to overawe the Government of India, to strike terror on the people, alienate section of the people and to harm the communal harmony.
 
It said that the conspirators smuggled fire arms, ammunition, detonators, hand grenades and highly explosive substances like RDX into India and stored it.
 
According to the prosecution, Mustafa Dossa, Tiger Memon and Chhota Shakeel organised training camps in Pakistan and India to impart and undergo weapon and arms training and handling of explosives. They also sent men from India to Pakistan via Dubai for arms training.
 
The prosecution also said that the conspirators held 15 meetings before the execution of the blasts.

All the accused, however, were acquitted of the charge of waging war against the nation. The court posted the next hearing in the case to June 19, when it would decide the date for arguments over the quantum of sentence for those found guilty.

The blasts that rocked 13 sites in Mumbai on March 12, 1993, had left 257 people dead and 713 injured, besides causing destruction of properties worth Rs 27 crore. 

In the first leg of the trial, the Tada court had convicted 100 accused in the case and acquitted 23 people. 

Here are the details of the case:

Charge against Abu Salem

Abu Salem, charged with supplying arms and ammunitions for the blasts from Gujarat to Mumbai, was extradited from Portugal in 2005.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005 for the 1995 murder of builder Pradeep Jain, and is currently lodged in Taloja Central Jail in Raigad.

The other accused

Apart from Abu Salem, the other accused are Mustafa Dossa (extradited from the UAE), Mohammed alias Tahir Takla, Abdul Qayyum, Karimullah Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui and Feroze Abdul Rashid Khan.

Dossa is facing charges of conspiracy and arranging landing of the explosives, around 3,000 kg of RDX, along with his associates in Raigad.

Merchant arranged for the others involved to travel to Pakistan for training. Both Salem and Qayyum supplied weapons to Bollywood actor Karimullah Khan was charged with smuggling the explosives into the country through Shekhadi Port in Raigad while Siddiqui and Feroze Khan are charged with transporting the explosives to the various targeted locations in Mumbai.

What about

was accused in the case for illegally possessing weapons, AK 56 rifles, 250 bullets and some hand grenades at his residence on January 16, 1993. Two days later on January 18, 1993, Salem and two others went to Dutt's house and got back two rifles and some rounds.

However, though he was let off the terrorism charges, but tried and convicted under the Arms Act. He served his full sentence and was released from jail in February 2016.

What happened on March 12, 1993?

On 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 blasts were said to be in retaliation for the demolition of the Babri Mosque in December 1992 and the subsequent bloody two-phased communal riots of Mumbai in December 1992-January 1993.

This was the first ever terrorist attack in the world where RDX (Research Department Explosive) was used on such a large scale after the Second World War.

The prosecution said that the object of the crime was to commit terrorist acts with the intent to overawe the government of India, to strike terror on the people, alienate section of the people and to harm the communal harmony.

What happened in the previous trial?

The case was first heard by judge Pramod Kode, who had also delivered the judgement in the first leg of the trial and convicted 100 accused and acquitted 23 in 2007.

Though the hearing in the case began in 2007, it was delayed as three petitions were pending with the Supreme Court, one each filed by Dossa and Salem, and another by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The court had dropped certain charges against Salem in 2013 after moved a plea, saying those charges were against the extradition treaty between India and Portugal.

The court, in all, recorded statements of around 750 prosecution witnesses and 50 witnesses. Three accused including Salem had confessed to their crime during investigations carried out by the over the years into the blasts case.

Underworld gangster Dawood Ibrahim, along with Tiger Memon and his brother Yakub Memon were alleged as conspirators in the case

It was during the trial in 2013 that the Supreme Court pronounced a judgement, wherein key conspirator Yakub Memon's death sentence was confirmed, while others were commuted to life imprisonment. The latter was hanged in Nagpur Central Jail on July 30, 2015.

First Published: Sat, June 17 2017. 01:19 IST
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