The Special TADA court this morning pronounced Mustafa Dossa and Abu Salem guilty of criminal conspiracy in the 1993 serial blasts that rocked Mumbai. Among those also convicted as Karimullah Shaikh and Tahir Merchant. Firoz Khan too has been convicted under charges of conspiracy and murder under sections of the Indian Penal Code, Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act and the Explosives Act.
Of the seven against whom verdicts were to be announced today, only one - Qayyum Shaikh is the only one who has been pronounced innocent.
The TADA court, helmed by Justice G S Sanap, held that prosecution had successfully proven that initial meetings of conspiracy happened at Dossa's residence. The court observed that ".. their motto was to kill Indians and Hindus, spilling blood of Indians as part of the conspiracy...to kill Indian leaders and police officials. this was all done after the demolition of the Babri Masjid...after which conspiracy was hatched..."
The seven accused had been arrested after the charges had been framed in the case. Of these, Salem was brought under an extradition order from Portugal. Salem has been accused of ferrying arms for the conspirators, as well as supplying the AK47 rifle to actor Sanjay Dutt. Dossa on the other hand, has been accused of helping the conspirators land the arms in Mumbai and hatching the conspiracy. Salem's extradition from Portugal was riddled with several clauses imposed by the Portuguese government, which will impact the sentence that will be pronounced tomorrow by the court.
This was the second case filed in connection with the blasts, and the proceedings have lasted for over six years. 257 persons had lost their lives in the series of 12 blasts that rocked the city on 12 March 1993. One of the main accused in the case, Yaqub Memon, was hanged to death on 30 July 2015. The other main accused in the case, underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, are still absconding.
Read earlier story here-
'93 Mumbai Blasts: Court Likely To Rule On Abu Salem, Mustafa On 16 June