|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
'93 Mumbai blasts: Two held guilty
October 19, 2006 15:41 IST
Last Updated: October 19, 2006 16:04 IST
A TADA court on Thursday held two close associates of prime conspirator Mohammed Dossa guilty of helping in the smuggling of arms and RDX used in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts.
Uttam Potdar and Salim Mira Shaikh were held guilty of facilitating landing of arms and RDX at Dighi coast in Raigad in February 1993.
The CBI has said that Tiger Memon and Mohammed Dossa had helped Dawood Ibrahim in engineering the serial blasts in Mumbai on March 12, 1993, in which 257 persons were killed and 713 injured.
As part of the conspiracy, two consignments of arms and RDX landed at Shekhadi and Dighi coasts of Raigad.
While the Shekhadi landing was organised by Tiger Memon and his men, the Dighi landing was managed by Dossa and his aides.
Both Uttam and Salim were held guilty under Section 3(3) of TADA(P) Act for aiding and abetting terrorist acts and Section 6 for violating provisions of the Arms Act.
However, both were absolved of charges of participating in the conspiracy as there was no evidence to this effect, the court held.
The court held Uttam Potdar guilty of bribing customs and police officers.
Designated Judge P D Kode accepted the confession of Uttam and took into consideration the evidence of two eyewitnesses, including a customs officer.
The court also found Salim guilty of attending a meeting in Hotel Persian Durbar in Panvel, Navi Mumbai, to bribe customs officers and policemen for smooth passage of arms and RDX from Raigad to Mumbai.
The court also accepted the evidence of Salim's telephonic talks with other accused in Dubai about the landing operations and bribing of officers.
The talks were intercepted by police and produced before the court.
Salim was arrested in 1994 in Gujarat in another TADA case registered there. He then gave a confession stating his involvement in 1993 bomb blast case.
He was later arrested in this case and brought to TADA court here for the trial.
The court accepted Salim's confession made before Gujarat police and held that he was guilty of charges under TADA (P) Act.
Outside the court, prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told reporters that Thursday's verdict is significant because the court has given a finding on involvement of both accused in bribing customs and police officers as also their role in helping Mohammed Dossa and his brother Mustaffa Dossa.
While Mohammed is absconding, his brother Mustaffa was extradited in 2003 and is in custody.
However, Mustaffa's trial has been separated.
Both Uttam and Salim played a key role in landing operations of arms and RDX at Dighi by using their men in the exercise as without their help the contraband could not have been used in the serial explosion, Nikam said.
Both face punishment ranging from five years to life. With their conviction, the number of accused held guilty so far in the case has risen to 55.