Abu Salem, five others convicted
A special TADA court here on Friday convicted six persons including mastermind Mustafa Dossa and extradited gangster Abu Salem in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, 24 years after the attacks left 257 people dead.
It, however, let off one accused Abdul Quayyum, for want of evidence against him. This was the second leg of the trial.
All the seven accused were facing multiple charges which included criminal conspiracy, waging war against the Government of India and murder.
In the first leg of the trial that concluded in 2007, the TADA court had convicted 100 accused in the case, while 23 people were acquitted.
The present trial of the seven accused -- Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Karimullah Khan, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Tahir Merchant and Abdul Quayyum -- was separated from the main case as they were arrested at the time of conclusion of the main trial.
The dastardly attacks had also left 713 seriously injured and destroyed properties worth Rs 27 crore.
Besides accused Riyaz Siddiqui, all the other five convicts were pronounced guilty by Special Judge G A Sanap for criminal conspiracy, murder under various sections of the IPC besides offences under TADA, Explosives Act, Explosive Substances Act, Arms Act and Destruction of Public Property Act.
Siddiqui was only convicted under TADA for helping Abu Salem and others in the transportation of arms.
The court, however, absolved all the seven accused in the case from the charge of waging war against the nation.
While Dossa allegedly masterminded the landing of explosives including RDX in India and sent some youth to Pakistan to acquire arms training to execute the strikes, Salem transported weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai ahead of the blasts.
He had also handed over to actor Sanjay Dutt-- who was an accused in the case for illegally possessing weapons-- AK 56 rifles, 250 rounds and some hand grenades at his residence on January 16, 1993.
Earlier, the court had dropped certain charges against Salem in 2013 after the investigating agency --CBI-- moved a plea, saying those charges were against the extradition treaty between India and Portugal.
The arguments for sentencing in the case (for six convicts) is likely to commence on Monday.