Half a dozen key lieutenants were convicted yesterday, nearly 11 years after 100 perpetrators were found guilty for the serial blasts that shook the country. The mastermind, however, continues to evade arrest
Arrested: In Lisbon, Portugal on September 18, 2002. Extradited to India on November 11, 2005
In the second week of January 1993, Abu Salem and absconding accused Aziz M Bilakhia went to Sansrod, near Bharuch (Gujarat) in a Maruti, to collect nine AK-56 rifles, about 100 hand grenades, boxes of cartridges and magazines. They intentionally exchanged the Maruti car for a Maruti van with accused Riyaz Ahmed Siddiqui so they could transport the illicit arms and ammunition to Mumbai in the false cavities of the white van. At the instance of Bilakhia, Salem and co-accused Samir Hingora and Baba Musa Chauhan delivered some of the arms and ammunition to co-accused Sanjay Dutt at his residence. Salem, Manzoor Ahmed and Hanif Kadawala (since dead) took some arms and ammunition back from co-accused Zaibunnisa Kazi at Vindhyachal Apartment, Bandra, at the instance of Bilakhia and Anees Ibrahim Kaskar. Salem was convicted under Section 3(3) of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) read with IPC, Arms Act, Explosive Act, Explosive Substance Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
Firoz Khan aka Hamza
Arrested: At Koparkhirane by Mumbai police on February 5, 2010. Handed over to the CBI next day
Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan was as an offender on October 15, 1993, but was absconding during the earlier part of the trial. Khan was arrested by Mumbai police on February 5, 2010, and was handed over to CBI the next day. A chargesheet was filed against him in court on June 30, 2010. He attended a meeting at Hotel Persian Darbar at Panvel held on January 6, 1993, along with fellow conspirators and Customs officers who agreed to allow the terrorists to carry on smuggling their arms and ammunitions in exchange for illegal gratification. Khan along with Uttam Shantaram Potdar and his associates participated in the landing of arms, ammunition and hand grenades at Dighi (Mhasla) on January 9, 1993, transporting the consignment to Agarwada village and concealing it in the house of co-accused Shabir Kadri. Khan participated in disposal of 9000 cartridges of AK 56 rifles, 44 magazines of AK 56 rifles by dumping it in Kandalgaon creek.
Extradited: On June 7, 2010, from Abu Dhabi, UAE
Tahir attended various conspiratorial meeting in Dubai with prime accused Mustaq alias Ibrahim, Abdul Razak Memon alias Tiger Memon, Ayub Adbul Razak Memon, Abdul Kadar Cheruvattam. Tahir motivated his associates to arrange for men from Mumbai to be sent for training to Pakistan. Tahir also arranged for the stay and visas of co-accused who went to Dubai, as well as their travel to Pakistan. He also collected funds to procure arms and ammunition. He planned to establish a factory to make illegal arms for committing terrorism.
Arrested: On August 21, 2008, by Mumbai police. Handed over to the CBI on the next day
Between 2006 and 2008, Karimullah Khan forged certain documents – medical certificate purportedly issued by Dr AS Manjrekar, though he was not authorised to run a private medical practice, for the purpose of obtaining driving licence and Scholars Register and Transfer Certificate form purportedly authenticated by notary Shujjaudin H Qureshi, with intent to support the claim claim that he was medically fit to obtain driving licence and was also a student of a certain school. Karimullah had also participated in both the landings at Shekhadi. Karimullah is charged under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act read with IPC, Arms Act, Explosive Act, Explosive Substance Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
Arrested: On January 4, 2006, on the basis of Abu Salem’s confession
It was revealed that Riyaz was deported from UAE in May 2003 and was in the custody of CIU. Salem confessed that in the second week of January 1993, on the instructions of Ibrahim Kaskar (Abs), Riyaz went to Bharuch, Gujarat, in a white Maruti van with hidden cavities and gave the van to other co-accused for the transportation of illicit arms, ammunitions and explosives to Bombay.
Abdul Kayyum Shaikh
Arrested: On December 13, 2007, by the Crime Branch, Mumbai police, in another MCOCA case. Later handed over to the CBI.
Verdict: Not guilty
In January, 1993, Abdul Kayyum Shaikh, along with absconding accused Anees Ibrahim Kaskar, procured arms, ammunition and explosives like AK-56 rifles, their ammunitions and hand grenades and he sent the same to India for the purpose of distribution by co-accused Abu Salem and other co-accused.
Arrested: On March 20, 2003, on his arrival at IGI Airport
In the year 1995, the involvement of Mustafa Ahmed Dossa alias Mustafa Majnu came to light. He was absconding during the earlier part of this trial, but was caught in Dubai for an offence. Dubai officials told him he would be deported and he had to choose a country. Dossa chose India, and was arrested on arrival in Delhi. Dossa attended a conspiratorial meeting at the residence of absconding accused Mohd. Dossa in Dubai between December 1992 and January 1993, along with other prime absconding accused, namely Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, Mohd. Dossa, Eijaz Pathan, Ayub Memon. In the second week of January 1993, Dossa sent arms and ammunition from Dubai to Dighi Jetty. Later, Dossa received other co-accused at Dubai airport and arranged for their visa and stay in Deira Tower. He took them to the residence of Dawood Ibrahim, and participated in a conspiratorial meeting. Dossa also made arrangements for the journey of fellow accused to Pakistan for receiving training in weaponry and then sent them to Mumbai to commit terrorist acts.
Trial timeline for first set of accused
>> March 12, 1993: 13 serial blasts kill 257 and injure 713
>> April 19, 1993: Team led by Rakesh Maria makes arrests. Actor Sanjay Dutt is arrested after landing at Mumbai airport
>> November 4, 1993: Primary chargesheet of more than 10,000 pages is filed against 189 accused
>> November 19, 1993: Case handed over to CBI
>> April 10, 1995: TADA court discharges 26 accused and frames charges against the rest. SC discharges two more accused
>> April 19, 1995: Trial commences
>> October 14, 1995: Dutt gets bail from SC
>> October 2000: Prosecution completes examination of 686 witnesses
>> August 22, 2002: Defence closes arguments
>> September 2003: Trial ends
>> September 12, 2006: TADA court Judge Pramod Kode convicts 100, acquits 23 accused. The court awards 12 death sentences and 20 life sentences
>> November 28, 2006: Dutt is acquitted of terror charges, but convicted under Arms Act.
>> November 1, 2011: SC starts hearing appeals of convicts.
>> March 21, 2013: SC upholds Yakub’s death sentence; commutes death penalty to life for 10 other convicts. Life sentences of 16 out of 18 convicts also upheld. Dutt is sentenced to 5 years in jail
Timeline for second set of accused
>> March 20, 2003: Mustafa Dossa arrested after he arrives at Delhi airport from Dubai
>> January 1, 2004: Charges framed against Dossa
>> November 11, 2005: Salem extradited from Portugal
>> November 19 and 20, 2005: Abu Salem confesses
>> January 4, 2006: Riyaz Siddiqui arrested after Salem allegedly confesses to his involvement.
>> December 13, 2007: Kayyum Shaikh arrested
>> January 21, 2008: Karimullah Khan arrested
>> February 5, 2010: Firoz Khan arrested
>> June 7, 2010: Taher Merchant’s custody is handed over to a CBI team at Abu Dhabi and he is brought to Mumbai the following day
>> January 31, 2012: The first witness deposes
>> May 5, 2015: After the cross examination of 64 new witnesses, the evidence is completed
>> May 6 to August 24, 2015: The court records the final statements of the seven accused under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
>> August 25 to December 1, 2015: Defence examines witnesses
>> December 2 to July 25, 2016: Special public prosecutor Deepak Salvi presents final arguments
>> March 9, 2017: Defence completes its arguments
>> April 25, 2017: First judgement date
Number of witnesses in the first part of the trial
No. of witnesses in the second set of the blasts trial