Mumbai, June 16: The justice delayed but not denied and the wounds of those who lost their dear ones might be healed as Mustafa Dossa, Abu Salem, Tahir Merchant and Firoz Khan were convicted as main conspirators of the heinous act of planning the 1993 Mumbai blasts in which 257 people died and 713 seriously injured.
Today the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court found terrorist Abu Salem guilty as he has been convicted under conspiracy charges behind 1993 Mumbai Blasts. The TADA Court also pronounced gangsters Mustafa Dossa and Firoz Khan guilty.
The others were also convicted under conspiracy charges, who were- Mustafa Dossa, Karimullah Sheikh, Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Taklya, Abdul Qayyum, Abdul Rashid Khan and Riyaz Siddiqui. In all seven of them played important roles in the conspiracy and planning of the serial blasts to its execution. These seven accused were arrested were arrested between 2003 and 2010 under multiple charges.
Another accused Riyaz Siddiqui was convicted under criminal conspiracy where he helped bringing illegal arms to Mumbai from Gujarat along with Salem. Qayyum Shaikh was charged with criminal conspiracy to cause the blasts. He was also accused of procuring arms and grenades to India with the help of Anees Ibrahim. Taher Merchant also found guilty of conspiracy meetings.
The deadly attacks had left 257 people dead, 713 seriously injured and destroyed numerous properties. Underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim along with Tiger Memon and his brother Yakub Memon were alleged to be the prime conspirators in the case. Meanwhile, in the first leg of the trial that concluded in 2007, the anti-terrorism court had convicted 100 people, out of which, 23 were acquitted. In 2015, Yakub Memon was hanged in connection with the same case.
Amongst seven, the accused Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, has been convicted under charges of conspiracy and murder under sections of IPC, TADA and Explosives Act. These verdicts came today in the second leg of the trial in the serial blasts case involving seven accused by a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act or TADA court in Mumbai.
Apart from Abu Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in 2005, and Dossa, who was extradited from the UAE, the other accused are Mohammed Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Takla, Abdul Qayyum, Karimullah Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui and Feroze Abdul Rashid Khan. Abu Salem is currently lodged in Taloja Central Jail in Raigad.
Special SBI Counsel, Deepak Salve spoke about accused Mustafa Dossa saying that “Mohammed Dossa, called the first conspiracy meeting in Dubai. Several gangsters from Mumbai including Dawood Ibrahim attended the meeting. They conspired to have the bomb blasts in Mumbai and planning of riots also for which they decided to send the arms and ammunition to Mumbai.”
Abu Salem, who was accused of transporting weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai, was arrested in Portugal in 2002. He was also responsible for giving weapons to actor Sanjay Dutt, who was accused in the case for the illegal possession of an AK-56 rifle, 250 bullets and some hand grenades at his residence on January 16, 1993.
On March 12, 1993, Bombay was rocked by 13 explosions in different parts of the city. It resulted in 257 fatalities, and over 700 were injured. According to reports, the death toll was over 300 and the no. of injured stood at 1,500. The prime targeted locations included the Air India Building, Bombay Stock Exchange, Zaveri Bazar, then existing five-star hotels, Hotel SeaRock and Hotel Juhu Centaur.
This was the largest coordinated terror attack to have taken place on Indian soil in terms of the number of casualties. Also, one of the most well-planned terror attacks to have been perpetrated in India apart from the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. It was also the first terror attack on Indian soil in which RDX was used as the explosive material.