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10 blasts convicts plead for leniency from court

Most convicts pleaded that they may be sentenced for the period they have already undergone in the jail

mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2016 00:13 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
2002-03 blasts,Mulund train blast,POTA court

The 10 convicts in the 2002-03 triple blasts sought leniency from the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court on Wednesday.

Most of the convicts pleaded that they may be sentenced for the period they have already undergone in the jail. Designated POTA judge PR Deshmukh on Tuesday had convicted 10 men of the total 13 who faced the trial in the case. On Wednesday, the court heard the accused.

The accused, who are convicted, are former general secretary of SIMI, Saquib Nachan, also Ateef Mulla, Hasib Mulla, Muhammed Kamil, Noor Malik, Anwar Ali Khan, Gulam Khotal, Farhaan Khot, Dr. Wahid Ansari and Muzammil Ansari.

Nachan said, “I had surrendered before the court. I had filed writ petitions seeking CBI probe in the case. A person who had conducted blasts would not do this. We were wrongly implicated in the cases.”

Nachan also alleged that the weapons found from their possession were not theirs but were planted. Hasib said that he has already suffered a lot because of the charges levelled against them hence pleaded for minimum sentence.

Khan, who was a professor before being arrested, said he has lost his job and credibility because of the charges. He pleaded that he should be given minimum sentence so that he can take up a good job and start his life all over again. Ansari and Kamil sought for leniency as they have families to take care of.

Another convict Ateef Mulla said his father is suffering from cancer and his son also has serious ailment. Gulam Khotal and Farhaan Khot, who has been charged and convicted for possession of arms and explosives, while pleading lesser sentence, submitted they have already spent long years in jail and have families to look after.

Mechanical engineer Muzammil Ansari said he has been falsely booked and his colleagues gave false evidence against him before the court. Ansari, who now faces capital punishment or life imprisonment, while pleading leniency told the court that he respects the court and the verdict but he has been framed in the case.

“During my police custody my father was illegally detained and tortured in front of me,” Ansari alleged. He added that he has reformed and has always been in good conduct.

Ansari said, “I have helped many prisoners in jail who were taking education. I helped illiterates with their cases and wrote letters for them to their relatives.”

First Published: Mar 31, 2016 00:13 IST