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Abu Salem & 1993 Mumbai blasts: 10 things you should know

Tahir Merchant, Feroz Khan awarded death penalty; Riyaz Siddiqui sentenced to 10 years in jail

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

1993 Mumbai blasts
A file photo of extradited gangster Abu Salem who was convicted by a special TADA court in 1993 Mumbai blasts case, in Mumbai.

A Special TADA Court on Thursday awarded the death penalty to two convicts, life sentences to two others, including gangster Abu Salem, while giving 10 years jail to one accused in the case.

Besides Salem, the Special Court awarded life sentence to Karimullah Khan and 10 years rigorous imprisonment to the fifth convict,

All the six accused were earlier pronounced "guilty" by the Special Court on June 16, including Mustafa Dossa, who died on June 28.

Here are 10 things to know about the case:

1. Abu Salem was extradited from Portugal in 2005 and then tried before the court. He was found guilty of transporting weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai ahead of the blasts. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005 for the 1995 murder of builder Pradeep Jain

2. Sanjay Dutt 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.

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

4. Mustafa Dossa, a key mastermind in the blasts, died on June 28 with the sentence pending against him. Therefore, the case against him has been abated. 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.

5. Abdul Qayyum was acquitted of all charges and the court ordered his release against a personal bond.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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).

9. 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 into the people, alienate a section of the people and to harm the communal harmony.

10. 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.

First Published: Thu, September 07 2017. 14:51 IST