The special TADA court on Friday convicted three more accused Ashraf-Ur-Rehman, Mohd Yusuf Botomiyan and Shaikh Asif Yusuf for possessing arms and ammunition and explosives on the behest of co-accused with an intention of aiding terrorist activities.
Judge Pramod Kode acquitted them of the charge of conspiracy as the prosecution did not provide substantial evidence to prove the charge. Judge Kode convicted Rehman, a businessman from South Mumbai and alleged former smuggler owing allegiance to gangster Karim Lala, for the charge of possessing 85 hand grenades, 350 electronic detonators and 3,270 live cartridges of AK 56, and storing them at a toilet in Musafirkhana in Masjid Bunder.
The court convicted Rehman on the basis of the evidence given by two police officers. However, it came down heavily on the police for not following the proper procedure while recording the confessional statement of Rehman. The recovery paanch had also turned hostile in the court. The court observed that “Based on the evidence of the two officers the recovery could be proved”. The court also observed that there was no evidence to prove that the arms and ammunition were part of the original consignment brought into the country by Tiger Memon for the purpose of committing terrorist acts.
Judge Kode also convicted Botomiyan and Yusuf on the charge of possessing and storing arms and ammunition on the behest of conspirators and convicts. The court handed down the conviction based on the recovery evidence and deposition of witnesses. The court also observed that the three convicts had committed preparatory acts and were not involved in the conspiracy or were aware of it.
The TADA court has till now pronounced judgment against 80 accused of which 61 have been convicted and 19 acquitted by the court.