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1993 Mumbai Blasts case : Life term for Abu Salem , two get death sentence

File Picture Courtesy : DNA
File Picture Courtesy : DNA

A special court in Mumbai announced the quantum of sentence against Abu Salem and four other convicts- Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, Taher Merchant, Karimullah Khan and Riyaz Siddiqui- in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case on Thursday.

According to various media reports , While Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan were sentenced to life imprisonment, Feroz Khan and Tahir Merchant were given death sentence. Riyaz Siddiqui was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The mastermind of the 1993 serial blasts which had killed 257 and injured 713 people, Mustafa Dossa had been convicted by the Court on June 16 this year. The case against Mustafa Dossa was closed because he died on June 28 while the sentencing arguments were going on in court.

The CBI had claimed that the role of Dossa was “more severe” than Yakub Memon, who was hanged in July 2015 in the same case. The CBI had also claimed that Dossa, Merchant and Feroz, were “main conspirators”.

In the first set of trial in the case which concluded in 2007, the court had convicted 100 accused, including Yakub Memon (who got death penalty) and Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt.

Sanjay Dutt was released last year in february after completing three and half year prison sentence .

The trial of Salem and others was separated as they were arrested later.

The serial blasts in the countrys financial capital on 12 March, 1993 left 257 people dead, 713 seriously injured, and destroyed property worth Rs 27 crore.

In the present trial, except for Riyaz Siddiqui, the court had convicted other five of criminal conspiracy and murder under the IPC and provisions of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act. Siddiqui was convicted only under the TADA for helping Salem and others in transporting arms and ammunition.

All of them were absolved of the charge of waging war against the nation under section 121 of IPC.

While Dossa arranged for landing of explosives, including RDX in India, and sent some youths to Pakistan for arms training, Salem transported arms and ammunition from Gujarat coast to Mumbai.

He also handed over AK-56 rifles, 250 rounds of ammunition, and some hand grenades to Dutt. He was accused of later collected two rifles and some ammunition back from the actors residence.

The court had dropped certain charges against Salem in 2013 after the investigating agency, CBI, said those were in violation of the extradition treaty between India and Portugal from where Salem was deported in 2005.

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