New Delhi, September 7, 2017: It has been 24 years since the atrocious 1993 Mumbai serial blasts happened. Finally, a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activity (TADA) Court court in Mumbai announced today the duration of sentence against the gangster Abu Salem and four other convicts- Taher Merchant, Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Karimullah Khan. Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan were given life imprisonment by the court whereas Feroz Khan and Tahir Merchant were given a death sentence. Riyaz Siddiqui is given 10 years of imprisonment.
The mastermind behind the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case was Mustafa Dossa, the blasts took lives of 257 people and injured 713 others. On 16th June 2017, Mustafa Dossa was convicted by the Court. But, the case against Mustafa Dossa was later closed as on June 28 he died due to a fatal cardiac arrest while the sentencing arguments were in the process in court. The CBI did claim that Mustafa Dossa’s role in the Mumbai serial blasts was “more severe” than Yakub Memon (he was hanged in July 2015 in the same case). The other claim made by CBI was that the “main conspirators” were Mustafa Dossa, Taher Merchant, and Feroz Khan.
Top 10 Highlights of Abu Salem’s sentencing:
- The court said that Abu Salem’s ‘close proximity’ to chief conspirators of the case Anees Ibrahim (Dawood Ibrahim’s brother) and Mustafa Dossa, made him transport and conceal arms and ammunition at various places.
- The court said, “Feroz Khan is not Hamza Khan as claimed by him. He is the same Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan, who was declared a proclaimed offender in this case in 1993.” The court noted that Feroz was in fact ‘a prominent member’ of the Dossa gang and was also ‘actively involved’ in smuggling of arms and ammunition to India.
- According to ANI reports, Ujjwal Nikam, Public Prosecutor said: “Convicts will get set-off for the time they have served in jail.”
- Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan were sentenced to life imprisonment due to 2 separate counts each. The court ordered Salem and Karimullah to pay Rs 2 lakh fine.
- Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan and Tahir Merchant were given the death sentence. As per CBI, “Feroz and Tahir were the main conspirators.”
- Riyaz Siddiqui was given 10 years of imprisonment. He had been found not guilty of conspiracy but was convicted under section 3 (3) of the TADA(P) Act as he provided a vehicle to Abu Salem for transporting the vehicles.
- Abu Salem was sentenced to life imprisonment by TADA court on charges of conspiracy and murder which were proven against him. After him, Karimullah Khan was sentenced to life imprisonment.
- The death penalty could not be awarded to Abu Salem as he was extradited from Portugal in 2005 and India had signed an extradition agreement with Portugal.
- “The TADA court had earlier convicted all of them except Riyaz Siddiqui under charges including murder, criminal conspiracy and other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – TADA Act, Explosive Substances Act, Explosives Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
- The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) asked for a death sentence for Feroz, Merchant, and Karimullah, and for Salem and Siddiqui- life imprisonment.
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