MUMBAI: Gangster Abu Salem and four other convicts in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case have been sentenced to life in jail by a special court. A sixth convict, Mustafa Dossa, died days after conviction. Abu Salem was extradited from Portugal and then tried. The blasts had left 257 people dead and 713 seriously injured.
Here are the top 10 developments in this story:
1.The Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI wants life imprisonment for Abu Salem – convicted under stringent sections of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act or TADA.
2.Apart from Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in 2005, and Dossa, who was extradited from the UAE, the court had also convicted Mohammed Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Takla, Karimullah Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui and Feroze Abdul Rashid Khan. Abdul Qayyum has been acquitted in the case.
3.A number of other accused in the case, including India’s most wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, remain on the run.
4.This was 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.
5.In the first part of the trial that ended in 2007, the anti-terrorism court had convicted 100 people, out of which 23 were eventually acquitted. In 2015, Yakub Memon was hanged in connection with the same case.
6.A series of 13 blasts in quick succession ripped through various locations of India’s financial capital on March 12, 1993 and the suburbs killing 257 people and injuring around 700.
7.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.
8.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.
9.The court had dropped certain charges against Salem in 2013 after the CBI said those charges went against the extradition treaty between India and Portugal.
10.The court recorded statements of around 750 prosecution witnesses and 50 witnesses. Three accused including Abu Salem had confessed to their crime during investigations carried out by the CBI over the years into the blasts case.