About twenty-four years after 12 serial blasts that staggered Mumbai City killing 257 people and leaving 713 injured, a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) court on Friday, convicted 6 out of 7 accused criminals, including Abu Salem and Mustafa Dossa.
This was the second batch of accused, tried by special judge Govind A Sanap after the main trial of 123 accused ended back in 2006 with the conviction of 100.
Feroz Khan, Taher Merchant, Riyaz Siddiqui and Karimulla Khan were the other convicted in the case.
The 7th suspect, Abdul Qayyum Shaikh who has been acquitted had allegedly supplied arms and ammunition from abroad, which landed at Dighi Jerry. He also had sold a licensed revolver to Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt in September 1992.
Deepak Salvi, the special CBI counsel said that trail for the seven, who were arrested between the year 2003 and 2010, had to be separated as they were nabbed after a substantial portion of the previous trial was completed.
With no other suspect currently in custody, today’s verdict was the last in the case for now. Currently, 33 accused are on run, including the master mind of the blast Dawood Ibrahim, his brother Anees Ibrahim, Mustafa's brother Mohammed Dossa and Tiger Memon.
Abu Salem was extradited from Portugal in November 2005. Information obtained from him led to the arrests of Siddiqui and Shaikh. Mustafa came into the radar in 1995 after a co-accused revealed that he was involved in the blasts. Mustafa was arrested in 2003 after he arrived in Delhi from Dubai.
The CBI submitted that the attacks came on the heels of the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.
60-year-old Taher had a prominent role in the blasts. He grew up with Dawood and his brothers and was said to be one of the trusted aides to Dawood. He motivated associates to arrange men from Mumbai for training in Pakistan. He is also accused of collecting funds to procure arms and ammunition. He was extradited from Abu Dhabi in 2010.
Deepak Salvi told the court that "this was the first ever terrorist attack in the world where RDX was used on such a large scale after the Second World War."