|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
'93 blasts: Air India building bomber convicted
October 09, 2006 17:23 IST
Last Updated: October 09, 2006 19:13 IST
ATerrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court on Monday convicted Mohammed Farooq Pawle, close associate of prime accused Tiger Memon, for conspiracy in the 1993 bomb blast case and for causing explosions at Air India building and near Shiv Sena Bhavan, killing 24 persons.
Pawale was held guilty of parking a car at the rear end of Air India building in front of the Oman Bank, which exploded, killing 20 persons and injuring 84 on March 12,1993.
He was also held guilty of parking an explosive-laden van between Sena Bhavan and Lucky petrol pump that killed four persons and injured 50.
Pawale was held guilty of 23 charges, including attending conspiracy meetings, visiting Pakistan for arms training, surveying blast targets, filling RDX in vehicles and planting cars at Air-India building and in the vicinity of Sena Bhavan.
Judge P D Kode convicted him under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, Exlposive Substances Act, Explosives Act and Damage to Property Act.
The court said it had accepted confessions of Pawle and approver Mohammed Usman Jaan Khan, besides considering an eyewitness' account while convicting the accused.
Pawle is the 32nd person to be convicted by the TADA court in this case; 12 have been acquitted and the case dropped against Tiger's father Abdul Razak Memon as he died in jail during the course of the trial.
Pawle faces punishment ranging from five years to life imprisonment or even a death sentence.
Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said the conviction is considered important as Pawle was involved in various stages of the conspiracy.
Attired in a white Pathani suit, Pawle did not react to the verdict but he appeared to be tense.
According to CBI, Pawle drove RDX-laden cars from the residence of Tiger Memon in Al-Husseini building to the blast targets - Air-India building and the area between Lucky petrol pump and Shiv Sena Bhavan in Dadar.
As per the directives of Tiger, Pawle also surveyed Bombay Stock Exchange and Air-India building with the aim of blowing them up.
In this task, he was joined by two others who are now absconding, Mohammed Tainur Mohammed Hayat Phansopkar and Irfan Ahmed Chougale, on March 10 - two days before the serial blasts.
Pawle was convicted under various sections of TADA (P) Act, IPC , Explosive Substances Act and Explosives Act.
Most of the 123 accused, including Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, are on bail and have been exempted from personal appearance. The court summons the concerned accused as and when it declares its verdict in their case.