10 convicted, 3 acquitted by POTA court in 2002-03 Mumbai blasts case
A special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court on Tuesday convicted 10 people and acquitted three, in the triple bomb blasts case in Mumbai between December 2002 and March 2003.
Saquib Nachan, who police said is the mastermind, has been convicted. Adnan Mulla, Harroon Lohar and Nadeem Paloba have been acquitted for lack of evidence.
All the accused have been charged with murder, attempt to murder, grievous hurt waging a war against the nation, criminal conspiracy under the IPC and on several charges under the Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act, and POTA.
The three blasts, killed twelve people and injured 139. According to the Mumbai police, the act was the handiwork of the banned organisation SIMI. Prosecution alleged that former general secretary of SIMI, Saquib Nachan along with Pakistani national and member of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Faisal Khan were the mastermind behind the blast, along with 23 other accused. Out of the total 25 accused, five including Khan died ,while five other accused are still absconding.
Police said Saquib Nachan, with the help of his other SIMI members gathered more men power and arranged for arms and ammunition while Dr Wahid Ansari with the help of wanted accused prepared for bombs. It was Muzamil Ansari who along with an absconding accused Janab, who planted most of the bombs.
On December 6, 2002, a bomb exploded in the McDonald’s outlet at Mumbai Central railway station where 27 persons were injured. A month and a half later, on January 27, 2003, a bomb planted on a bicycle exploded outside the Vile Parle railway station, killing Anita Indulkar (35) and injuring 32 others. On March 13, 2003, another bomb exploded in the ladies first-class compartment of a Karjat-bound fast train as it approached Mulund station where over 90 people were killed.
According to the chargesheet, Ansari and Janab planted the bomb at McDonald’s near the Mumbai central station on December 6, 2002. On January 27, 2003, the two of them also planted a bomb at Monghibai road on a bicycle opposite the Jawahar book depot at Ville Parle. Ansari and Janab also planted two bombs in a general and a first class compartment in a Karjat bound train on March 13, 2003.