A special court sentenced to death 11 members of Deendar Channabasaveshwara Anjuman Trust on Saturday for setting off serial blasts at several churches in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa in 2000.
Special Judge S.M. Shivanagoudar, while sentencing a dozen others to life imprisonment, said though none was killed during these blasts, the attacks tantamount to anti-national activities by the members of the trust.
He pronounced the order through a videoconferencing facility from the Sessions Court Complex here because of security reasons.
The capital punishment was handed out to Mohammad Ibrahim, Shaikh Hasham Ali, Hasnuzama, Abdul Rehaman Saith, Amanath Husain Mulla, Mohmad Sharfuddin, Sayed Muneerudin Mulla, Mohmad Akhil Ahmed, Ijahar Baigh, Sayed Abbas Ali and Mohmad Khalid Choudary.
While three of the accused died during the trial period, seven escaped from custody. And the court set four others — Mohmad Riyazuddin, Mohmad Jafer, Ismail Akki and Amir Hamza — free last week.
On July 9, 2000, several bombs kept inside a Maruti van exploded when the members of the trust were returning after setting off blasts at the churches in Jagajeevanramnagar in Bangalore.
Two of them — Zakir and Siddiqi — died on the spot, while S.M. Ibrahim received injuries. Soon, the city police raided Ibrahim’s house at Murugeshpalya and seized several documents and a computer hard disk, which led to the arrests of several others in the three states.
The trust, headquartered at Asif Nagar in Hyderabad, was founded by Hazrath Moulana Siddique, aka Deendar Channabasaveshwara, at Bellampet in Gulbarga district of Andhra Pradesh in 1924.