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Trial in Gateway blast commences
August 23, 2005 21:51 IST
Trial in the 2003 Gateway of India and Ghatkopar bomb blast case commenced in a POTA court in Mumbai on Tuesday with an approver identifying the 5 accused in the court as members of Lashkar-e-Toiba and the brain behind the explosions.
Deposing before the POTA court, the approver, who was produced in the court amidst tight security, identified the 5 accused -- Arshat Ansari, Mohammed Hanif, Hanif's wife Fahmida, Batterywala and Ladoowala -- for the blasts in which 50 persons were killed and around 100 injured.
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The approver further said he became an LeT member in 2001 to avenge the atrocities on Muslims during the Gujarat riots.
All the accused were his associates, the approver told the court. The conspiracy of blast was hatched in Dubai, he said, adding that the initial plan was to carry out a blast in Gujarat.
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The LeT insisted on carrying out blast in Mumbai saying it would have larger repercurssions being the financial capital and also since lot of foreigners visited the city, it would do the maximum damage, the approver said.
Being examined by public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, the approver said he had also met Saammenullh, Bilal, Naeem, Ansari and Rehman, all Pakistanis along with Hanif in Dubai.
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The accused had also carried out the bomb blast in a bus at Ghatkopar while the plan of a blast at Seepz had failed, the approver added.
'The enemy's face is unknown'