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Two Tiger Memon associates held guilty
November 16, 2006 17:41 IST
Two associates of absconding prime conspirator Tiger Memon were Thursday found guilty by a special court in Mumbai for their complicity in the 1993 blasts in the city while another accused was acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Imtiaz Ghawte and Mulchand Shah were held guilty of aiding and abetting terrorist acts while city builder Murad Ibrahim Khan was acquitted. The TADA court judge P D Kode held financier Shah guilty of helping Memon to operate Hawala accounts in the name of 'Hathi', and thereby facilitating the serial bombings on March 12, 1993 that killed 257 people.
Memon's aide Ghawte was found guilty of parking a RDX-laden scooter at Dhanji street in south Mumbai that did not explode on the fateful day, when a series of explosions ripped through other parts of the city.
Ghawte was found guilty under section 3(3) of TADA. He was also found guilty of participating in the conspiracy under section 120 B of IPC and section 3(3) of TADA for participating in the landing of arms at Shekhadi. However, Ghawte was absolved of charges of filling RDX in vehicles in garages of Memon at Al Husseni building on the eve of the blasts since the prosecution failed to prove his presence at the spot.
The court held him guilty of intending to cause terror by parking the RDX-laden scooter at Dhanji street. On these charges, it convicted him under section 307(attempted murder), section 435 (damaging property) and section 436 (causing damage to building) of IPC and section 4(a)(b)of the Explosive Substances Act and section 9 b (1-b) of the Explosives Act. With today's conviction, the total number of people found guilty has risen to 77 and 22 have been acquitted.
The court gave Ghawte time to surrender bail till November 28 as he is suffering from AIDS and is taking treatment for this. The court acquitted Khan of charges of conspiracy and attending meetings in Dubai. CBI had charged him with going to Dubai on February 15, 1993 on way to Pakistan to obtain weapons training and he could not go further to Pakistan as travel arrangements were not made. The court cancelled bail bond of Shah and took him into custody, while allowing Ghawte to surrender bail by November 29.
Both convicts face punishment ranging from 5 years to life sentence. Their statements of quantum of sentence will be recorded on Monday. Twenty-four other accused, including film star Sanjay Dutt, in the case are awaiting verdicts.