The prosecution in the 2005 Diwali-eve blasts case on Saturday got a shot in the arm with a witness identifying an accused in a Delhi court and saying that it was he who planted a bag, containing a bomb, in a local bus.
The serial blasts at three different places Sarojini Nagar, Paharganj and Kalkaji in New Delhi -- on October 29, 2005 had claimed 67 lives and injured over 225.
Deposing before Additional Sessions Judge Babu Lal, Rajiv Sinha, who was traveling in a bus plying on the Outer Mudrika route, pointed towards accused Mohd Rafiq Shah, alleging that he was the person who had left the bag containing explosives in the bus.
"I boarded the bus from the Noida crossing. When the bus reached the Okhla turn, the accused (pointing towards Rafiq) came and handed over the bag to a person and left saying that he was going to buy ticket," Sinha said.
After a while, when the accused did not return, he looked back to find the person missing, raising suspicion among the bus passengers, he said, some passengers also went to the rear of the bus to look for him, he said.
Meanwhile, the passengers realised that there was something wrong in the bag. They raised a hue and cry asking the driver to stop the bus in Kalkaji, he added.
More than 20 persons had sustained injuries in the blast after the DTC bus driver Kuldeep Singh and conductor Budh Prakash threw the bag outside the vehicle. Singh had lost his eye-sight in the incident while Prakash was also seriously injured.
Apart from Shah, four other accused -- Tariq Ahmed Dar, Mohd Hussain Fazli, Farooq Ahmed Batloo and Ghulam Ahmed Khan -- were booked in the blasts case for various offences under the Indian Penal Code.
Besides Sinha, a Delhi Police head constable Rajpal, who sent written information, leading to the registration of the FIR in the case, also recorded his statement before the court.
Three separate cases were registered by the Delhi Police Special Cell following the incident.
The court had clubbed all the three cases for the purpose of recording evidence.
According to the prosecution, Dar with Abu Ozefa, Abu Al Kama, Rashid, Sazid Ali and Zahid had allegedly entered into a criminal conspiracy to wage a war against the country and planned to cause serial blasts.
Five co-accused Abu Ozefa, Abu Al Kama, Rashid, Sazid Ali and Zahid are still at large and are said to be in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
It said that Dar had allegedly hatched a conspiracy with the Lashker-e-Taiba militants to plan and carry out the bomb blasts in the capital.