Security tightened ahead of '93 blast verdict
According to CBI, the perpetrators of the serial blasts intended to shatter the country's economy, as was indicative from the selection of blasts sites.india Updated: Sep 12, 2006 10:08 IST
Security was tightened in and around the designated TADA court, which is slated to decide the fate of actor Sanjay Dutt and 122 other accused in the much-awaited verdict, coming 13 years after serial explosions rocked the city.
On August 10, the court had started dictation of the verdict and said it would deliver the final judgement on September 12.
The case is historic as CBI, the prosecuting agency, has examined 686 witnesses with the court recording 13,000 pages as evidence during the trial that went on for six years - a record of sorts in Indian legal history.
With Judge PD Kode announcing earlier that he would deliver the verdict on September 10, legal sources said the judgement is likely to spread over the next 15 days as the court would take time to announce its findings and decide the quantum of punishment for the convicts.
Altogether 257 were killed and 173 injured when series of explosions rocked 13 places in the city on March 12, 1993. Property worth Rs 27 crores was destroyed in the blasts.
Ninety-four accused, including Sanjay Dutt are currently on bail, while 29 others are in jail custody. Trial of three more accused - Abu Salem, Riyaz Siddiqui and Mustafa Dossa - has been separated as they were arrested much later.
Eleven accused died during trial while one, Riyaz Khatri jumped bail and two others - Samajwadi Party MP Abu Asim Azmi and Amjad Mehr Baksh - were discharged by the Supreme Court.
Twenty-nine accused were discharged earlier by the Supreme Court while 29 people were declared absconding when the chargesheet was filed in 1993 soon after the bomb blasts.
According to CBI, the perpetrators of the serial blasts intended to shatter the country's economy, as was indicative from the selection of blasts sites namely Bombay Stock Exchange, Air-India building, hotel Sea Rock, hotel Centaur Juhu, hotel Centaur Airport, and in busy areas of Zaveri Bazaar, Katha Bazaar and Century Bazaar.
A petrol pump near the Shiv Sena Bhavan and Plaza theatre were also targeted as blasts killed many people. As part of the conspiracy, hand grenades were hurled at a Hindu colony in Mahim, triggering riots in the city in which several motor vehicles, shops and houses were damaged.
Hand grenades were also hurled at the airport but no damage was caused, while RDX-stuffed scooters that had failed to explode were seized from Naigaon and Dhanji Street.
The explosions occurred between 1:30 pm to 3:40 pm on a Friday sending shockwaves among the people across the country.
The CBI has said that a well-planned conspiracy was hatched by Dawood, Memon and Dossa in 1992, that resulted in landing of arms and RDX at Shekadhi in Raigad district on January seven, 1993 and February two, 1993.
Another consignment of arms landed at Dighi coast in Raigad district, near here, on January 9, 1993, and this was handled by Mohammed Dossa.
Dawood, Memon and Dossa are absconding accused in the list of 29. While Dawood was already abroad when the blasts occurred, Memon and Dosa fled a day before.
Nikam said there is evidence against Dawood Ibrahim, but defence lawyer Farhana Shah said the only evidence against him was the statement of co-accused Dawood Phanse.
In furtherance of conspiracy, Tiger Memon at the instance of Dawood and his absconding brother Anees Ibrahim, summoned his men, Dawood Taklya, Abdul Kadar, Aziz Mohamed Shaikh, Ahmed Shah Khan, Yakub Memon, Ayub Memon, Taher Taklya and Mohammed Dossa between December 1992 to January 1993 to chalk out plans to create explosions and strike terror.
Twenty-five accused were sent to Pakistan via Dubai for training in arms and ammunition. Their visits were sponsored by local firms in Dubai and trips were arranged in collusion with Pakistani agents as it transpired during investigations that no immigration and emmigration formalities were observed at Islamabad airport, according to chargesheet filed by CBI.
They travelled by Pakistan International Airlines and their passports were collected by Tiger memon and his men. It also transpired during investigations that the accused were indoctrinated by their foreign trainers that Muslims in India had suffered heavily during communal riots of 1992-93 and thus their religious sentiments were exploited to strike terror, it said.
Bulk of finance relating to travel of the accused to Pakistan for arms training came from Yakub Memon and Ayub Memon, brothers of Tiger Memon.
Eighteen other accused took part in training programmes in villages Sandheri and Bhorghat in Raigad district of Maharashtra. They were trained to handle AK-56 rifle, 9 mm pistols, hurling hand grenades and in the use of RDX.