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1993 Mumbai blasts case: Convict pleads for leniency

Mumbai city news: Firoz Khan broke down while concluding his deposition and pleaded with the court to not give him death penalty

mumbai Updated: Jun 21, 2017 01:27 IST
Charul Shah
A victim being rescued from Air India building.
A victim being rescued from Air India building. (HT FILE)

Firoz Khan, one of the six convicts in the March 1993 Mumbai blasts case, on Tuesday pleaded with the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court with tears and folded hands to spare him from the gallows.

A special TADA court on Friday had held Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa, Khan, Tahir Merchant, Karimullah Khan, Riyaz Siddique guilty and acquitted Abdul Qayyum Shaikh.

Khan on Tuesday put himself forth as a witness. He said he had type-2 diabetes and his family was struggling for money. He said he helped his fellow inmates, a reason for which he should not be given capital punishment. “My wife worked as Mehendi artist in Dubai for some days to meet expenses. My children don’t know where I am. They still hope that I would return one day,” Khan told the court.

Khan also said after his arrest he confessed to the crime and gave a detailed statement out of remorse. “I had not participated in all the conspiracy meetings. I also refused to go to Pakistan to attend training in handling arms and ammunition,” Khan said, adding that he had not played a role for which death penalty should be awarded.

While Khan disputed the evidence brought by the prosecution and the contents of his own confessional statement, judge Govind Sanap warned him he should not say anything against the verdict.

Khan broke down while concluding his deposition and pleaded with the court to not give him death penalty. “I hope to see my children and be at the side of my ailing father. I am ready to forgo all the benefits given under the constitution, including furlough and parole. I will spend my entire life in jail, but please don’t give me death,” Khan sai. Earlier, the court rejected the plea of the defence for the prosecution to open with the arguments on quantum of sentence.

Read

Highlights: 1993 Mumbai serial blasts accused Abu Salem, 5 more convicted, next hearing on June 19

1993 Bombay bombings: Here are the 7 accused