Tahir Merchant and Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, two of the accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case, were awarded the death sentence by a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity (TADA) Court on Thursday in Mumbai.
Other accused, Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan, were sentenced to life imprisonment Riyaz Siddiqui was sentenced for ten years.
Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, while addressing the media after the pronouncement of the verdict, said, “The convicts will get set-off for the time they have served in jail. Today, the TADA special court has awarded death sentence to Tahir Merchant, Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan. Karimullah Khan and Abu Salem have received life term imprisonment and Riyaz Siddiqui has been jailed for ten years.”
Meanwhile, lawyer Deepak Salve elucidating about the lifer said that, “If the government does not commute the sentence, then the guilty will have to serve jail term till his entire life.”
The court had convicted six people, including the mastermind of the 1993 serial blasts that had killed 257 and injured 713 people, Mustafa Dossa and Abu Salem, on June 16 this year.
Dossa died on June 28 following which, the case against him was closed.
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 said that Dossa, Merchant and Feroz, were “main conspirators”.
Arguments over the degree of sentences continued after the conviction in June and concluded on August 10.
All the accused were facing multiple charges like criminal conspiracy, waging war against the government and murder of people.
This was the second leg of the trial – in the first leg that concluded in 2007, the TADA court had convicted 100 accused in the case, while 23 people were acquitted.
The attacks were planned by Dawood Ibrahim, India’s ‘most wanted’ fugitive who also has his name prominently figuring on the ‘most wanted’ lists of the US and the Interpol.
As carried in ani on 9/8/2017