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'93 blasts: Hawala financier convicted

india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 22:56 IST
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The Special TADA court on Thursday convicted one of the main Hawala financiers Mulchand Shah alias Chokshi who had helped prime conspirator Tiger Memon by funding his nefarious activities leading to the blast and one of Tiger's close aide Imtiyaz Gawate who had planted a RDX laden scooter at Dhanaji street in Zaveri Bazaar. While the court acquitted another accused Murad Khan for lack of evidence.

Judge Pramod Kode convicted Shah for the charge of mobilising funds for absconding accused Tiger through a hawla account named ‘Haathi’ for a commission. Shah had provided funds to the tune of Rs 1.89 crore to Tiger, which he used in sending co-accused to Dubai for undergoing arms training and for otherpurposes. Judge Kode convicted Shah on the basis of the confessional statement given by him and that of other co-accused and the recovery evidence of cash recovered at his behest from the hawala account. Shah was however, acquitted for the charge of conspiracy.

Wearing a blue shirt and trousers with avermilion mark on his forehead the obese Shah broke down in the court and pleaded before Judge Kode to allow him to meet his relatives and familymembers who were standing outside the court which was allowed. Before Shah entered the court the familymembers and relatives who had turned up outside the court hugged and kissed Shah who has three children fearing the unwanted.

Next in the dock was Imtiyaz Gavate, an AIDS patient detected with the disease when he was in custody. In December 2005 Judge Kode had granted him interim bail for medical reasons. A resident of Mahim, Gavte wearing a print shirt, trousers and skullcapkept on crying in the dock. Judge Kode convicted Gavate for the charge of conspiracy, planting a scooter filed with RDX at Dhanaji Street, which did not explode and participated in the landing and transportation of arms and ammunition into the city, which landed at Shekhadi. Judge Kode convicted him based on his own confessional statement and that of other co-accused and evidence of two eyewitnesses who had seen him parking the scooter and of one of the approvers.

The last in the dock was Murad Khan a close relative of deceased accused and builder Majid Wali Khan known as MK builders who was allegedly killed by Chhotta Rajan aides. Murad was acquitted of the charges levelled against him of visiting Dubai with an intention to visit Pakistan for undergoing arms and ammunition training, attending conspiracy meetings in Dubai and conspiracy. Judge Kode observed that though there was his own confessional statement and that of others it was not substantial and thus the charges against him could not be proved. Murad is now a builder in Central Mumbai.

The TADA court has till now pronounced judgment against 99 accused of which 77 have been convicted and the court has acquitted 22 of them.

Emailmustafa .plumber@hindustantimes.com

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