1993 blasts: A month on, 39 guilty, 15 acquitted
Guilty 39; acquitted 15; and 69 more to go in the list of 123 accused ? that is PD Kode's scorecard in the month.india Updated: Oct 12, 2006 13:10 IST
Guilty 39; acquitted 15; and 69 more to go in the list of 123 accused — that is special judge PD Kode's scorecard in the month since he started delivering the verdict on the 1993 serial bombings in India's financial capital.
It has been exactly a month since the reading of the verdict began in the special TADA - Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act - court housed inside the high-security Arthur Road Jail in central Mumbai's Byculla area.
Apart from the 123 accused, there are 30 absconding accused. These include two of India's most wanted criminals — Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon, who orchestrated the bombings on March 12, 1993, that left 257 dead and 713 grievously injured.
Another accused, Riyaz Khatri, has been absconding since his bail in September 1996. Eleven of the accused died during the trial, including Tiger's father Abdul Razak.
The trials of two of the prime accused, extradited mobsters Abu Salem and Mustafa Dossa, have been separated from the other accused.
After the trial started in January 1994, two people, Abu Azmi and Amjad Meherbaux, were discharged by the Supreme Court.
The TADA court also discharged Javed Tailor in April 1995. Most of the accused, including Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt who is 117th in the list, are out on bail. The court is likely to pronounce Dutt's verdict in the coming week.
So far, all those who planted bombs, except those who did so in Mahim causeway and Dhanji Street, have been convicted.
Also in the dock are five suspended police officials, including a sub-inspector, from Srivardhan police station in Raigad district for their complicity in the case.
Most of the convicted face sentences ranging from a minimum of five years to life imprisonment. The exceptions are two of the five convicted Memon family members, Yaqub and Essa who face life imprisonment or capital punishment for masterminding the conspiracy.
On the afternoon of March 12, 1993, a series of 12 explosions cut a swathe of destruction and terror through Mumbai, starting from the landmark Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in south Mumbai and extending all the way to Centaur Hotel in the northern tip of the city. Property worth over Rs.270 million ($6 million) was also damaged.