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1993 blast case Dossa bros found guilty: TADA Court

17 June 2017

July 16, 2017: The second set of six accused are convicted, including Abu Salem and Mustafa Dossa.

Other accused Tahir Merchant, Karimullah Shaikh were also convicted.

While accused Riaz Siddiqui has been convicted under TADA and other charges, Abdul Qayyum has been acquitted of all charges.

The blasts were believed to have been carried out in response to the riots after the December 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid.

The court held that Tahir facilitated the supply of arms and the training of the accused in Pakistan. The court spoke extensively about Merchant's "prominent role" and "indulgence in the conspiracy (that) must be held directly responsible for the bomb explosions".

The name of Firoz Abdul Rashin Khan alias Hamza Abdul Rashid Khan appears in the first chargesheet.

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.

The five convicted for criminal conspiracy, including Dossa and Salem, face the maximum punishment of death.

The court recorded the statements of 750 prosecution witnesses and 50 witnesses.

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Interestingly, the Mumbai Police had arrested one of the gangsters who was actively involved in the planning of the serial blasts in Mumbai, three days before they actually happened. The blasts took place at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Katha Bazaar, Lucky Petrol Pump near Sena Bhavan, Century Bazaar, Fishermen's Colony at Mahim Causeway, at basement of Air India Building, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Plaza Theatre, Centaur Hotel (Juhu), Sahar Airport (Bay no.54) and Centaur Hotel (near airport). This was the first ever terrorist attack in the world where RDX was used on such a large scale. It was reported that the bomb blasts was masterminded by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

The dastardly attacks had also left 713 seriously injured and destroyed properties worth Rs 27 crore. Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, son of actor-turned-politician Sunil Dutt, was also given a sentence of 5 years in the case for illegal possession of arms. However, none were found guilty under the stringent "waging war against the state" provision as the "prosecution had failed to prove the charges" according to the judge.

19 April 1994: Trial begins.

On the request of the Indian government, the UAE government handed over Merchant to the CBI in Abu Dhabi on June 7, 2010 around midnight and he was brought to Mumbai on June 8, 2010. The TADA court issued proclamation against Dossa on August 29, 1997.

Salem, who had fled the country earlier, was arrested in 2002 in Portugal and later extradited to India in 2005.

August 10, 2006: Judge P D Kode says judgement will be pronounced on September 12. It announced death penalty to 12 other convicts and 20 are given life imprisonment.

Those convicted will be sentenced at a later date.

This round of trial resumed in 2012 and concluded this March.

In March 2013, the court upheld its decision of death sentence to Yakub.

1993 blast case Dossa bros found guilty: TADA Court