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1993 Mumbai Blasts: Verdict In Case Against Abu Salem Likely Today

**Mumbai** A special court here will, on June 16, deliver its verdict in the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case against mafia don Abu Salem and six others.

All the seven accused were produced before Special TADA Court Judge G. A. Sanap here for an ongoing hearing on the judgement date.

Apart from Abu Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in 2005, the other accused are Mustafa Dossa (extradited from the UAE), Mohammed Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Takla, Abdul Qayyum, Karimullah Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui and Feroze Abdul Rashid Khan.

Abu Salem is charged with supplying the arms and ammunitions for the blasts, Dossa is facing charges of conspiracy and arranging landing of the explosives – around 3,000 kg of RDX, along with his associates in Raigad.

Merchant arranged for the others involved to travel to Pakistan for training, Qayyum is accused of supplying weapons to Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt and other charges, Karimullah Khan charged with smuggling the explosives into the country through Shekhadi Port in Raigad while Siddiqui and Feroze Khan are charged with transporting the explosives to the various targeted locations in Mumbai.

The current trial is known as Case B since these seven accused were nabbed when the main trial in the case against the other 123 accused was already underway.

Several other prime accused in the case including the mastermind and former Mumbai underworld don, Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and his henchman who carried out the blasts, Tiger Memon, are still absconders.

Abu Salem, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005 for the 1995 murder of builder Pradeep Jain, is currently lodged in Taloja Central Jail in Raigad.

Earlier, in the same case, the special court had convicted 100 accused, including Yakub Abdul Razak Memon who was hanged on July 30, 2015.

Actor Dutt, who was let off the terrorism charges but tried and convicted under the Arms Act, served his full sentence and was released from jail in February 2016.

On the afternoon of March 12, 1993, a series of 13 blasts in quick succession were carried at various locations in Mumbai city and suburbs killing 257 people and injuring another 700 plus.

The blasts, said to be in retaliation for the demolition of the Babri Mosque in December 1992 and the subsequent bloody two-phased communal riots of Mumbai in December 1992-January 1993 – were master-minded by don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and carried out by his henchmen, like Tiger Memon and others.

At the end of a marathon trial lasting over 13 years, in September 2006, 12 accused were sentenced to death but 10 of these commuted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court later, and another 20 were given life sentence.

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, and others leading to public and private property worth Rs 27 crore damaged.

(IANS)

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