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1993 blasts: Death for 3 more
July 24, 2007 13:26 IST
Last Updated: July 24, 2007 15:29 IST
Three more persons were on Tuesday given death sentences and one person was sentenced to life for lobbing grenades at the Fishermen Colony in central Mumbai during the 1993 serial blasts.
Special TADA judge P D Kode sentenced Zakir Hussain Shaikh, Feroz Mallik and Abdul Akhtar Khan to death as the trio were actively involved in the conspiracy for a long time and also attended weapons training in Pakistan organised by prime absconding accused Tiger Memon.
The court, however, held that their act was a "terrorist act which is synonymous with waging a war" against the Union of India as they had intentionally gone to the colony in Mahim with the "heinous objective" of killing innocent people.
"In violence, the accused have the victim in mind but in the case of terrorism, an act of cowardice, it is not against a particular victim but society at large," the judge said.
Moin Qureshi, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the grenade attack since the court observed that he was a minor at the time of the incident and also got involved in the conspiracy in the final stages.
The grenade attack at the colony killed three persons and injured six.
The court has sentenced 91 of the 100 convicts in the serial blasts case. Nine, including actor Sanjay Dutt [Images], convicted for illegal weapons possession, are yet to be sentenced.
Seven persons were earlier sentenced to death by the court.
With today's pronouncement of punishment, ten persons have been sentenced to death and 17 have been given life imprisonment for carrying out 12 blasts on March 12, 1993 which killed 257 people and injured over 700.
Immediately after the sentence was pronounced all the four convicts, began raising religious slogans and had to be taken out of the court room by the policemen.
While sentencing the four persons, judge Kode observed that the group of six persons with "scant regard for law" got into a van and went to Mahim with the common intention of killing innocent people.
Though the prosecution had dropped the charges of waging war against the country against the four during the course of the trial, the court observed the act committed by them was synonymous with waging war against the nation saying: "The Constitution provides the right to life for every citizen as a fundamental right".
Kode said in the case of an unlawful assembly it was not important who had lobbed the grenade and all the people involved could be held accountable for the act as their intentions were common.
Bashir Khairulla, who was part of the same group, was sentenced by the court on Friday to life imprisonment.
Speaking about the grenade attack, the court observed that "this was the worst case" as each of the convicts had gone out with the intention of committing a terrorist act and their companions were also accompanying them with the same purpose.
Five members of the Memon family, convicted for their role in the conspiracy to carry out the serial blasts, and four persons, including Dutt, convicted for illegal arms possession await sentencing.
Dutt, who spent over a year in jail earlier and faces up to ten years' imprisonment after being convicted under the Arms Act, has sought an exemption under the Probation of Offenders Act.