A Mumbai court on Thursday sentenced Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan to life imprisonment in 1993 Mumbai blast case.
The court had already convicted six persons including mastermind Mustafa Dossa and extradited gangster Abu Salem in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, 24 years after the attacks left 257 people dead.
As it happened:
# Abu Salem files application in Mumbai's special TADA Court seeking jail transfer to Delhi so that he can attend pending proceedings in Delhi
# Convicts have been given sentences for different offences, all punishments will run concurrently
# Convicts will get set-off for the time they have served in jail: Ujjwal, Public Prosecutor on 1993 Mumbai Blasts case sentence
# TADA court sentences convict Feroz Khan to death
# Riyaz Siddiqui sentenced to 10 years
# TADA court sentences convict Tahir Merchant to death
# Court sentences Abu Salem to life imprisonment
# Karimullah found guilty of supplying weapons
# Karimullah Sheikh has been given life imprisonment along with Rs 2 lakh fine
# Abu Salem and 4 other convicts reach court for quantum of sentence hearing in 1993 blast case
The court, however, had let off one accused — Abdul Quayyum — for want of evidence.
All the seven accused were facing multiple charges which included criminal conspiracy, waging war against the Government of India and murder. In the first leg of the trial that concluded in 2007, the TADA court had convicted 100 accused in the case, while 23 people were acquitted.
Following is the detailed role of the six convicts in the case, whose trial was separated from the main one, which concluded in 2007:
Abu Salem: He went to Baruch in Gujarat in January 1993 along with an absconding accused for receiving arms, explosives and ammunitions. He got nine AK-56 rifles, 100 hand grenades and some bullets from Baruch in Gujarat and transported them to Mumbai by concealing them in fake cavities of a Maruti Van which was allegedly given to him by accused Riyaz Siddiqui.
Salem also delivered (along with two others) some arms and ammunitions to Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt at his residence on January 16, 1993 and took back some of them two days later.
On August 13, 2013, TADA court let CBI drop some charges against Salem as per an extradition treaty between India and Portugal. His another application to marry a 26-year-old woman is pending with the court.
Mustafa Dossa: One of the masterminds of the March 12, 1993 serial terror blasts, he smuggled firearms, ammunitions, detonators, hand grenades and highly explosive substances like RDX into India.
Dossa along with Tiger Memon and Chhota Shakeel organized training camps in Pakistan and in 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. He also attended many conspiracy meetings.
Tahir Merchant alias Taher Taklya: He attended conspiracy meetings in Dubai and motivated his associates to arrange men from Mumbai to be sent to Pakistan for arms training. He collected funds to procure arms and planned to set up an illegal arms manufacturing factory in India.
Riyaz Siddiqui: He arranged for a van with specially-crafted secret cavities, which had been used for transporting 9 AK-56 rifles, 100 hand grenades and some boxes of magazines from the godown at Baruch to Mumbai.
Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan: On January 8, 1993, two months ahead of the blasts, Mohammed Dossa (absconding brother of Mustafa Dossa) sent Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan and another accused to Alibagh and Mhasla to inform Customs officials and landing agents about the landing (of arms and explosives) that was to take place the next day. He also attended conspiracy meetings.
During the fag end of the trial, in May last year, he sought to become an approver. However, the court rejected his plea after the CBI told the court that it has enough evidence against all the accused and they don’t need any approval.
Karimulla Khan: Karimullah attended conspiracy meetings. He also played an active role in the landing of consignments comprising arms, ammunitions, detonators, hand grenades and RDX that took place in Shekhandi in Raigad Maharashtra ahead of the blasts. According to the prosecution, Karimulla had informed another accused that he was going to Pakistan for arms training via Dubai.
One accused Abdul Qayyum, was let off for want of evidence against him.