A special TADA court in Mumbai today convicted extradited gangster Abu Salem and Dawood Ibrahim aide Mustafa Doss along with Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan and Tahir Merchant in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
Justice (Retd) PC Kode, TADA court judge while giving the judgement in the serial blasts case said no mercy should be shown to terrorists. The other convicted today also included Riyaz Siddiqui.
The trial of these seven was separated from the main case as they were arrested at the time of conclusion of the main trial. The first leg of the trial concluded in 2007, wherein the court convicted 100 accused and acquitted 23 people. On March 12, 1993, within a span of just two hours 12 serial blasts rocked Mumbai leaving 257 people dead, 713 seriously injured destroying properties worth Rs 27 crore.
Extradited Gangster Abu Salem was accused of transporting weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai. He also handed over to actor Sanjay Dutt, who was an accused in the case for illegally possessing weapons, AK 56 rifles, 250 bullets and some hand grenades at his residence.
The court had dropped certain charges against Salem in 2013 after the CBI moved a plea, saying the charges were against the extradition treaty between India and Portugal. While Mustafa Dossa, who was extradited from UAE in 2003 has been accused of masterminding the landing of RDX in India. This was the first ever terrorist attack in the world where RDX was used on such a large scale after the Second World War.
According to the prosecution, youth were sent to Pakistan to take arms training organized by Mustafa Dossa, Tiger Memon and Chhota Shakeel. The prosecution feels, in order to avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid, members of the crime syndicate under the fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim along with absconding accused Tiger Memon, Mohammed Dossa and Mustafa Dossa hatched the conspiracy.
The prosecution said 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.
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 CBI. The trial resumed in 2012. It was during the 2013 trial that the Supreme Court confirmed key conspirator Yakub Memon’s death sentence, while others were commuted to life imprisonment.
Yakub Memon was executed on July 30, 2015 after his several clemency pleas were rejected, including the post-midnight hearing by SC on the day he was hanged. The court, in all, recorded statements of 750 prosecution witnesses and 50 witnesses.