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In 2007 Hyderabad twin blast, 2 Indian Mujahideen men convicted, 2 acquitted

Seven Indian Mujahideen operatives were accused in the 2007 Hyderabad twin bomb blasts case of which five were arrested. The court will pronounce the verdict on the fifth accused on Monday.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2018 20:19 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
Hyderabad blasts verdict,Twin Hyderabad blasts verdict,Indian Mujahideen
The near simultaneous blasts on August 25, 2007 at the popular eatery Gokul Chat killed 32 people and left 47 injured.(PTI File Photo)

A Hyderabad court on Tuesday convicted two men of involvement in the twin bomb blasts of August 2007 that left 44 people dead and over 50 injured in Hyderabad. One of the explosions took place in a crowded eatery and the other at a public park near the secretariat.

Second additional metropolitan sessions judge T Srinivasa Rao, at a special courtroom in Cherlapally Central Prison, convicted the first two accused -- Mohammed Akbar Ismail Chowdhari and Aneeq Shafique Sayeed. Their sentences will be pronounced on Monday, prosecution lawyers said.

Two other accused – Mohammad Sadiq Israr and Farooq Sharfuddin Tarkash -- were acquitted for want of evidence. Judgement against a fifth suspect, Mohammad Tareeq Anjum, who allegedly sheltered those who had planted the bombs, would be given on Monday, the lawyers said.

Telangana police’s counter-intelligence (CI) wing investigated the case and arrested the five men, who were suspected to be linked to the banned Indian Mujahideen (IM), in 2010. In all, eight people were charge-sheeted in the case. The remaining three accused – Riyaz Bhatal, Iqbal Bhatkal and Amir Riza Khan -- are still at large.

The bomb explosions at Gokul Chat Bhandar, a popular eatery in the Koti area, and Lumbini Park, a recreation centre in front of the state secretariat, took place on August 25, 2007. Thirty-four people died at the eatery and 10 in the explosion at Lumbini Park, which took place within a few minutes.

The suspects were charged under section 302 (murder) and other provisions of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Explosive Substances Act in connection with the twin blasts and also the recovery of an unexploded bomb found under a foot overbridge in Hyderabad’s Dilsuknagar area.

Hyderabad police had, in all, filed three charge-sheets running into over 1,100 pages. Nearly 170 witnesses were examined and cross-examined during the trial.

The judgement brought no cheer to the survivors. “We expected that all the five accused would be convicted. But two of them managed to get acquitted. We want the Telangana police to move the high court with strong evidence, so that the acquitted, too, would be punished,” said 30-year old R Chandu Naik alias Chander, who lost one of his eyes in the bomb blast at Gokul Chat Bhandar.

Chander said it was unfortunate that the prosecution had taken 11 years to prove the involvement of just two suspects. “Even if the convicted get the death sentence, I am sure they would not be hanged immediately, as they would move the high court, then Supreme Court and finally for the President’s pardon. We do not know how long the trial would go on,” he said.

Syed Raheem from Khammam, who also lost his vision partially in the explosion at Gokul Chat Bhandar, said the suspects should be given capital punishment. “I am still facing the trauma of the bomb explosion and I will have to face it for the rest of my life,” he said.

Hyderabad MP and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi said there had been no justice for the victims’ families even after 11 years of the blasts and their pain continues.

“Farooq and Sadiq have been in prison from 2009 and after nine years, the court finds them not guilty and acquits them. Their lawyer Abdul Azeem tells me the evidence was circumstantial,” he tweeted.

First Published: Sep 04, 2018 11:34 IST