Calling it a rarest of rare case for planning and execution, an NIA special court in Cherlapally Central Prison on Monday sentenced to death Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and four others in the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case.
The NIA court had on December 13 convicted Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Tahaseen Akhtar alias Monu and Aijaz Sheikh after finding them guilty of carrying out the Dilsukhnagar blasts that killed eighteen people.
All six were convicted under Sections 302, 307, 324, 326, 121, 122, 201 read with 120B of the IPC, Sections 3 & 5 of The Explosives Substances Act and Section 18, 19, 20, 38 (2), 39 (2) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.
The court observed that the case was rare because of the manner in which the accused conspired and planned to place bombs and “create mayhem and terror”. The main accused Riyaz Bhatkal is still absconding. After the court convicted them on December 13, the five convicts had written separate letters to the judge alleging that they were wrongly framed by the NIA, and that the trial was biased. Just before the sentencing, the court asked the convicts if they had anything to say.
“They showed no emotion, neither anger or remorse or regret. They asked to be given a copy of the judgment so that they can appeal further,’’ Special Public Prosecutor K Surender Rao said. “The court observed that the case fell in the rare category because of the way it was planned and executed causing the death of innocent people, and injuring 119 people many of whom were maimed for life. The court noted that they also did not show any remorse or regret for their act,’’ Rao said.
“It was the collective work of the NIA officers and investigators and prosecution team which led to this sentencing,’’ Rao said. He added that the NIA produced a lot of evidence relating to the conspiracy that was hatched in Mangalore.
While Yasin hails from Bhatkal in Karnataka, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi belongs to UP; Zia-ur-Rehman is from Pakistan; Tahseen Akhtar is from Bihar; and Aijaz Shaikh is from Maharashtra.
In its first charge-sheet, the NIA accused Yasin Bhatkal, alias Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa and Asadullah Akhtar of conspiring to plant bombs at two places. Akhar and Bhatkal were arrested by NIA on August 29, 2013 from the Nepal border in Bihar. Akhtar was also accused of smuggling the explosive materials from Mangalore to Hyderabad.
The second charge-sheet was filed after Zia-ur-Rehman and Tahseen Akhtar were arrested in March 2014.