Twenty-two years after the serial blasts ripped through Mumbai, the case still continues in the Tada court, with seven key accused facing trial.
Key among the accused are gangsters Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Firoz Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Karimullah Shaikh, Mohammad Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Taklya and Abdul Qayyum.
Tada judge GA Sanap is in the process of recording the statement of the accused against the evidence produced by the prosecution.
Salem has been accused of transporting arms and ammunition and is charged with supplying actor Sanjay Dutt with an AK-47 rifle and grenades. In his statement, Salem had disclosed the involvement of Qayyum and Siddiqui, who were arrested later.
The focus, however, will be on Mustafa Dossa, who played a crucial role in landing the explosives off the Maharashtra coast. According to the chargesheet filed by the investigating agency, the landing of the explosives was executed under his supervision.
Dossa, whose brother Mohammed Dossa is one of the most wanted accused in the case, was arrested on March 20, 2003, after he was deported from Dubai, under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act.
According to the investigating agency, Mohammed had made arrangements to send many of the accused to a camp in Pakistan to receive training in handling arms and ammunition.
Another key accused, Tahir, a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim, was arrested on June 8, 2010, after being deported from Abu Dhabi. He allegedly arranged travel for other accused to Pakistan.
“The trial is in progress. The court is recording the statement of the accused under Section 313 of the CrPC, whereby the accused is given an opportunity to explain his actions,” said special public prosecutor Deepak Salvi.
“The court has prepared a list of 15,000 questions to ask the accused, which is expected to complete in a few days. After this, they will be given an opportunity to bring their witnesses forward. The prosecution will then start its argument,” Salvi added.