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1993 serial blasts: Salem's trial begins today
April 15, 2008 02:25 IST
After convicting 100 accused in July last year for their involvement in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case, the TADA court is expected to commence separate trials against extradited gangsters Abu Salem [Images], Mustafa Dossa alias Mustafa Majnu and two others from Tuesday.
The trial schedule will be decided after the Central Bureau of Investigation submits the list of the witnesses against the accused.
Earlier, CBI had sought time, which ends on Tuesday, to submit the list of the witnesses. Following that, the court had adjourned further hearing and deferred the trials.
Once the central investigation agency submits the list of the witnesses, the court will issue summons to them, and the separate trials will commence.
Earlier, during the first phase of trial, the court, after awarding different punishments to 100 accused, had ordered separate trials for Dossa, Salem and his two accomplices -- Riyaz Siddiqui and Abdul Qauum Ansari, as they were arrested towards the end of the trial. They are presently lodged in Arthur Road jail.
Among the convicted are members of the Memon family, who had masterminded the blasts, and Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt [Images] under the Arms Act for possessing one 9 mm pistol, an AK-56 assault rifle and its magazines. While the main conspirators fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim [Images] and Tiger Memon are still at large.
The court had earlier turned down a CBI plea to club together the trials of Salem, Dossa, Siddiqui and Ansari.
Dossa, who was deported from Dubai on March 20, 2003, is accused of actively participating in the blasts' conspiracy. He was also allegedly involved in the landing of weapons in Maharashtra's Raigad district prior to the blasts on March 12, 1993, that had left 257 people dead and 574 injured.
As per the evidence so far produced before the court, Dossa had not given any confessional statement, but he was named by various convicts like Salim Mira Shaikh and others for his involvement in the crime.
Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in 2005, is accused of delivering an AK-56 rifle at the residence of Sanjay Dutt and various other weapons to co-accused. Siddiqui and Ansari, too, are accused of delivering weapons at different places.
CBI had recorded Salem's statement, in which he had confessed to the crime. Also, Sanjay Dutt and other convicts had named him and his associates for the role that they had played in the blasts.