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1998 blasts: HC upholds conviction

mumbai Updated: Jul 20, 2013 01:58 IST
HT Correspondent

The Bombay high court upheld a trial court's decision to sentence 11 persons, including a Pakistani national, involved in the 1998 serial bomb blasts on Friday.

Five blasts were carried out - at Kanjurmarg station, near Virar station, on railway tracks between Goregaon and Malad, near Santacruz railway station and on platform number 2 at Kandivli station - between January 23 and February 27, 1998.

The blasts had killed four persons and had left 30 others injured.

A division bench of justice PV Hardas and justice Revati Dherel upheld the convictions following the appeals filed by the accused challenging their life sentence.

Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik argued that the conspiracy has been established and similar materials were used by the convicts to trigger the blasts.

Yagnik argued that apart from circumstantial evidence, the convicts were identified by witnesses. According to the prosecution, a conspiracy was hatched in December 1997 at the behest of Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to set off explosions at railway stations, platforms and railway tracks in the city.

The trial court on June 29, 2004, had convicted Pakistani national Javed Gulam Hussain, along with Aftab Sayeed, Asgar Kadar Shaikh, Kadeer Mohammed Shafi, Khalid Ansari, Shabeer Basheer Chavan, Jaffar Shaikh, Mohammed Chauhan, Ashfaque Shaikh, Farooque Yusuf Shaikh and Aftab Shaikh.

Another Pakistani national was acquitted due to lack of evidence and was deported after the trial.