A special TADA court on Thursday convicted two more aides Uttam Potdar and Salim Mira Shaikh alias Salim Kutta, of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and key conspirator of the serial blast Tiger Memon for aiding the conspirators in landing arms and ammunition at Dighi in Raigad district.
Judge Pramod Kode convicted Uttam Potdar the main landing agent of the consignment, which landed at Dighi jetty on January 6, 1993. He was also held guilty for charges of providing his truck for the landing operation and mobilizing resources in conniving with terrorist activities.
Potdar also was convicted for bribing police officials PSI Vijay Patil and other customs officials in letting the consignment pass from the port into the city. The court, acquitted Potdar of the charges of conspiracy stating that “He was unaware of the explosives till it landed and the prosecution has not provided any evidence of establishing his role in the conspiracy”.
Potdar, a resident of Mahshal village in Raigad, was an agent of Tiger Memon who helped him in his smuggling activities of silver. As Judge Kode acquitted him of the charge of conspiracy, Potdar raised his hand towards the judge, thanking him and left the dock. Judge Kode held Potdar guilty based on the confessional statement given by him and other co-accused and corroborative evidence given by CBI.
Next in the dock was dreaded gangster and close aide of absconding accused Mohammed Dossa, wearing a crème colour shirt and cargo pants Salim Mira Shaikh alias Salim Kutta a resident of Kurla, looked calm and ready to face any orders. Shaikh was convicted for charges of facilitating in the landing of arms and ammunition and explosives at Dighi jetty and transportation of the consignment into the city. He was also held guilty for attending the pre-blast meetings at hotel Persian Darbar where Tiger Memon had gave a provocative speech to the accused present to commit terrorist acts.
Judge Kode also convicted Shaikh for bribing police and customs officials in facilitating the transportation of the consignment. The court accepted Shaikh’s confessionals statement and of other co-accused and CBI had also provided telephonic records showing conversations of Shaikh with key conspirators Dawood Ibrahim, Annes Ibrahim, Mohammed Dossa and Tiger Memon.
He was, however, acquitted of the charge of conspiracy under Indian Penal Code and hald guilty of conspiracy under the TADA act. Shaikh was a close aide of Dossa, he had also sent six men to Pakistan for arms training and had also ordered firing on one of the accused Mohammed Issaq when he did not cooperate in the conspiracy. Recently he also threatened another convict Nasim Barmare of dire consequences inside jail. Both the convicts have been in custody since their arrest.
The TADA court has till now pronounced judgment against 74 accused of which 55 have been convicted and 19 acquitted by the court.