Of the five people sentenced today, two got the death sentence, two have been sentenced to life imprisonment and one to ten years in jail.
Mumbai: A Mumbai court today awarded the death sentence to Tahir Merchant and Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan and life imprisonment to extradited gangster Abu Salem in the 1993 serial blasts case.
Besides Salem, the court also sentenced Karimullah Khan to life imprisonment in the case while awarding a ten-year sentence to the fifth convict, Riyaz Siddiqui.
A special TADA court had in June convicted six persons, including mastermind Mustafa Dossa and Salem, in the blasts case, 24 years after the attacks left 257 people dead in the country’s financial capital. Five persons’ sentences were announced by the Mumbai court today.
It, however, let off accused Abdul Quayyum for want of evidence. This was the second leg of the trial.
All the seven accused were facing multiple charges which included criminal conspiracy, waging war against the state and murder.
The court had earlier held that prosecution proved Salem was one of the main conspirators and he delivered three AK-56 rifles and ammunition and hand grenades to actor Sanjay Dutt (convicted in earlier phase of trial under the Arms Act).
Salem, who was close to (Dawood Ibrahim’s brother) Anees Ibrahim and Dossa, took it upon of himself to bring a part of the arms and ammunition used from Dighi to Mumbai, the court earlier said.
This was “vital towards achievement of the conspiracy so that the weapons could be used to terrorise and torment innocent citizens of India,” the court had said.
The trial of Salem, Dossa, Karimullah, Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Riyaz Siddiqui, Tahir Merchant and Abdul Quayyum was separated from the main case as they were arrested subsequently.
Dossa died of cardiac arrest at JJ Hospital in Mumbai, shortly after being convicted, on June 28.