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1993 Mumbai blasts case: Special court convicts six, acquits one

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MUMBAI: Twenty-four years after 12 blasts rocked the city killing 257 and leaving 713 grievously injured, a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court on Friday convicted six, including Abu Salem and Mustafa Dossa. In the dock is a second batch of accused, tried by special judge Govind A Sanap, after the main trial of 123 accused ended in 2006 with the conviction of 100.

Others who were convicted include Feroz Khan, Taher Merchant, Riyaz Siddiqui and Karimulla Khan. Abdul Qayoom Shaikh was the lone accused who was acquitted. The court will pronounce the sentence after hearing arguments from the defence and the prosecution. If convicted, six accused except Siddiqui could face the death penalty. But since Salem was extradited from Portugal which doesn’t have death penalty with an assurance that he will not be given the extreme penalty, it is to be seen what punishment CBI seeks for Salem. The hearing for the sentencing part of the judgment will begin on June 19 and Deepak Salvi the prosecutor told TOI he would seek the maximum possible sentence for the convicts.

Special CBI counsel Salvi said trial for the seven, arrested between 2003 and 2010, had to be separated as they were nabbed after a substantial portion of the previous trial was completed.

With no other accused currently in custody, the verdict today will be the last in the case for now. Thirty-three accused are absconding, including key conspirators Dawood Ibrahim, his brother Anees Ibrahim, Mustafa’s brother Mohammed Dossa and Tiger Memon.

Salem was extradited in November 2005 from Portugal. His confession led to the arrests of Siddiqui and Shaikh. Mustafa was named in 1995 by a co-accused and arrested in 2003 after he arrived in Delhi from Dubai.

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