One person was convicted on Tuesday by the special TADA court, which is delivering the verdict in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case, for purchasing a pistol and live cartridges from another accused. However, the court acquitted another person for lack of evidence.
Ehsan Mohammed Qureshi was convicted by designated judge Pramod Kode for possesing a Mouser pistol and 16 live cartridges from co-accused Feroz Amani Mallik which was later recovered from his possesion after his arrest. The court though acquitted Qureshi of the charge of conspiracy and possesing the weapon with an intention of aiding terrorist.
Judge Kode convicted Qureshi based on the confessional statement of accused Mallik, while handing down the conviction to him. According to the confessional statement Qureshi who has a garmnet business along with his brothers at Vakola used to stay at Pathan wadi in Malad close to accused Mallik. During the 1992 communal riots Qureshi and his family members suffered because of which he thought of protecting himself by possesing a wepon. Thus when he came to now that Mallik was possesing a mouser pistol he purchased the weapon from Mallik for an amount of Rs 15,000 but paid only Rs 5,000 to Mallik.
During investigations when Mallik was arrested he revlead of the pistol being sold to Qureshi and on susbequent investigation the weapon was recovered near the Mahim creek. Qureshi who was arrested in April 1993 was released on bail by then then Judge JN Patel after four months.
In the bail order the court had observed that Qureshi was not a part of the conspiracy or connected in any way with it. On Tuesday, Qureshi stood in the dock with foldeed hands in a gesture of pleading for mercy. However, the court convicted him for possesion. Actor Sanjay Dutt in his confessional statement which he later retracted had stated that “He had possesed an Ak-56 rifle as he apprehended a threat to his and family members life after the communal riots.
Judge Kode also acquitted Fazal Rehman who was charged of conspiracy and aiding and abbeting terrorist acts and persuading accused Mallik to undergo training in arms and ammunition at Pakistan.
He was also charged with acquirring four hand grenades given to him by Mallik which were part of the original consignment which landed in the country for commiting terror acts. The court observed that there was no recovery from the accussed and the connecting link between the recoevery was co-accused Mohammed Jabir Manssori who died during the trial from whom the recovery was done and thus for lack of evidence the accused is acquitted of the charges levelled against him.
The TADA court has till now pronounced judgment against 92 accused of which 71 have been convicted and the court has acquitted 21 of them.