Today a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) court has finally begun to pronounce its judgment in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case,which left 257 people dead destroying property worth Rs 27 crore. The case is under hearing with seven accused including gangster Abu Salem. The court has pronounced Salem and five others guilty in the hearing, stating that the prosecution has proved its case. Abu Salem, who was handed over by the Portugalese government in 2005, and others were charged and convicted earlier today by TADA court.
Salem was convicted of supplying the arms and ammunition including the deadly RDX used in the blasts. Mustafa Dossa, the other key convict, was convicted of the blasts conspiracy meetings held in India and Dubai before the attack at 12 spots in Mumbai. He was convicted of murder and conspiracy given his hand in the ideation and implementation. Another accused Firoz Khan was convicted for conspiracy and murder under sections of IPC, TADA and Explosives Act along with Tahir Merchant and Karimullah Shaikh.
Popular Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt (who was involved in the attacks as Abu Salem had kept arms and ammunition at his house) along with others surrendered before the TADA court in May 2013 after Supreme Court had upheld their conviction. It is astonishing to note that a case of this magnitude and intensity took such a freakishly long time even for a stuck up justice system like that of India. It took 14 years for the first leg of the trial to conclude in 2007, where a hundred people who were accused were convicted, while 23 are acquitted. Today, it has been 24 years from the deadly attacks which terrorized Mumbai, and finally the convicts are brought to justice.
It is also to be noted that it was in 2015 that the key conspirator Yakub Memon’s death sentence was finally confirmed by the Supreme Court after rejecting his mercy plea in a past midnight hearing. However the others (all bomb planters) were commuted to life imprisonment.
Mumbai, the country’s commercial capital, underwent a first of its kind attack on March 12, 1993, when a series 12 bomb explosions took place one after another in about a span of two hours, leaving the city shocked and terrorized for days to come. The blasts took place at Bombay Stock Exchange, Katha Bazaar, Lucky petrol pump near Sena Bhavan, opposite Passport office near Century Bazaar, Fishermen’s colony at Mahim Causeway, at basement of Air India Building, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Plaza Theatre, Centaur Hotel (Juhu), Sahar Airport (Bay no.54) and Centaur Hotel (near airport).
The blasts were seen as the reply to the Muslim massacre that took place before in wake of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya in 1992, destabilising the Hindu Muslim equation through out the country. It is to be noted that two main convicts of the case brother of Yakub Memon, Tiger Memon and Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim are still at large.