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Firoz Khan, who was pronounced guilty in the 1993 Mumbai blast case here today, pleaded before the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court seeking lesser quantum of punishment in the case.
The court was hearing arguments on the quantum of punishment of the six men, including gangster Abu Salem and Khan, who were pronounced guilty on charges of terrorist acts and possession of certain unauthorised arms and indulging in criminal conspiracy.
During the hearing of his plea, Firoz started crying and urged the court with folded hands to not to be ordered capital punishment against him.
"I am ready to spend my whole life in jail without any parole, Furlough, any remission or any other benefit.but please don't give me death sentence so that my children know that their father is alive somewhere," he said.
"I have given confession statement out of remorse and repentance. I have also applied to be an approver in this case that shows my repentance of the crime," he added.
Following his plea, special public prosecutor Deepak Salvi will now cross examine Khan tomorrow.
The TADA court also issued summons to two other defence witnesses to prove there were mitigating circumstances that should be considered by the court in Khan's case.
The witnesses will be examined tomorrow by the prosecutor.
However, other convicts told the court they will not bring witnesses and will orally argue their case in the court. They also said that they were, if need arises, ready to furnish documentary evidences.
On June 16, the TADA court convicted six for terrorist acts and possession of certain unauthorised arms and indulging in criminal conspiracy, while one was acquitted of the charges.
Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan had knowledge of all criminal activities of the gang. He was a participant of the main conspiracy from the beginning and, therefore, was one among the main conspirators.
In 1993, around 257 people were killed in what is described as India's worst terrorist attack.