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Mumbai Blast Verdict: Abu Salem gets life in jail; death sentences to Firoz khan and Tahir Merchant
Posted on: 07-09-2017 , 03:44:PM | DY365 Bureau

 Picture courtesy: Hindustan Times

September 7, 2017: On Thursday, a special TADA court in Mumbai sentenced Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan and Tahir Merchant to death in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. Abu Salem and Karimullah khan were given life in prison while Riaz Siddiqui was sentenced to ten years in jail.

Salem, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Khan and Merchant were earlier convicted for conspiring to carry out the dastardly 1993 serial blasts, which killed more than 250 people. Mustafa Dossa was convicted as well, but he died of natural causes before today's sentencing. Riaz Siddiqui was convicted of lesser charges.

The mastermind of the 1993 serial blasts which killed 257 and injured 713 people, Mustafa Dossa had been convicted by the Court on 16th June 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”.

The 1993 Bombay bombings were a series of 12 bomb explosions that took place in Mumbai, India, then known as Bombay, on 12 March 1993. This was first of its kind serial-bomb-blasts across the world. The single-day attacks resulted in 257 fatalities and 717 injuries.

The attacks were coordinated by Dawood Ibrahim, don of the Bombay-based international organised crime syndicate named D-Company. Ibrahim is believed to have ordered and helped organise the bombings in Mumbai, through his subordinates Tiger Memon and Yakub Memon.

Thirteen blasts were announced by the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra Sharad Pawar, the fictitious one in a Muslim quarter of the city, to prevent the events from taking on a communal hue.

The Supreme Court of India gave its judgement on 21 March 2013 after over 20 years of judicial proceedings sentencing the accused. However, the two main suspects in the case, Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, have not yet been arrested or tried.

Many hundreds people were arrested and detained in Indian courts. In 2006, 100 of the 129 finally accused were found to be guilty and were convicted by Justice PD Kode of the specially designated TADA court.

Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Firoz Khan, Taher Merchant, Riyaz Siddiqui and Abdul Qayoom amongst others were arrested and trial continued against these absconders in a special TADA court in Mumbai. Ujjwal Nikam who was earlier the Special Prosecutor in this case was later on replaced by Deepak Salvi to continue with the trial in the light of the subsequent developments. On 16 June 2017, a Special Terrorism and Disruptive Activities Act court giving its verdict in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blast case, pronounced gangster Mustafa Dossa and Firoz Khan guilty of conspiracy. The charges can draw the punishment of the death penalty.On June 26, 2017, Dossa died of cardiac arrest in a Mumbai Hospital. Qayoom Sheikh was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

At 1:30 p.m. a powerful car bomb exploded in the basement of the Bombay Stock Exchange building. The 28-story office building housing the exchange was severely damaged, and many nearby office buildings also suffered some damage. About 50 were killed by this explosion. About 30 minutes later, another car bomb exploded in front of the Mandvi Branch Corporation Bank near Masjid, and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. a total of 12 bombs exploded throughout Mumbai. Most of the bombs were car bombs, but some were in scooters.

Three hotels, the Hotel Sea Rock, Hotel Juhu Centaur, and Hotel Airport Centaur, were targeted by suitcase bombs left in rooms booked by the perpetrators. Banks, the regional passport office, the Air India Building, and a major shopping complex were also hit. Bombs exploded at Zaveri Bazaar, area opposite of Century Bazaar, Katha Bazaar, Sena Bhavan, and Plaza Theatre. A jeep-bomb at the Century Bazaar exploded. Grenades were also thrown at Sahar International Airport and at Fishermen's Colony, apparently targeting people at the latter. A double decker bus was very badly damaged in one of the explosions and that single incident accounted for the greatest loss of life – perhaps up to ninety people were killed.

Attacked Locations:

Fisherman's Colony in Mahim causeway
Zaveri Bazaar
Plaza Cinema
Century Bazaar
Katha Bazaar
Hotel Sea Rock
Terminal at Sahar Airport (now known as CSIA)
Air India Building
Hotel Juhu Centaur
Mumbai Stock Exchange Building
Passport Office
Masjid- Mandvi Corporation Bank Branch


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