A special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities(TADA) court convicted the 1993 Mumbai blast mastermind Mustafa Dossa and gangster Abu Salem on June 16, 2017.
Along with the two gangsters Firoz Khan, Karimullah Khan, Taher Merchant was also found guilty of conspiracy charges. Another accused Riaz Siddiqui was convicted under Section 3 (3) of TADA Act which invites a minimum prison term of five years. Another accused, Abdul Qayyum, has been acquitted.
Dossa was convicted on charges of conspiracy and murder under various sections of the IPC besides offences under the TADA Act, the Arms Act and the Explosives Act. Dossa allegedly masterminded the landing of explosives including RDX in India and sent some youth to Pakistan to acquire arms training to execute the blasts.
Abu Salem was found guilty of transporting arms and weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai. He had also handed over to actor Sanjay Dutt AK 56 rifles, 250 rounds and some hand grenades at his residence on January 16, 1993. Two days later on January 18, 1993, Salem and two others went to Dutt's house and got back two rifles and some rounds. Abu Salem was on the run after the blasts and was found holed up in Portugal. On 20 September 2002, he was arrested along with Monica Bedi by Interpol in Lisbon, Portugal. He was extradited to India in 2005.
On March 12, 1993, Mumbai was rocked by 12 bomb explosions that took place one after another in about a span of two hours.The dastardly attacks had left 257 dead, 713 persons seriously injured and destroyed properties worth Rs 27 crore.
The blasts took place at Bombay Stock Exchange, Katha Bazaar, Lucky petrol pump near Sena Bhavan, opposite Passport office near Century Bazaar, Fishermen's colony at Mahim Causeway, at basement of Air India Building, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Plaza Theatre, Centaur Hotel (Juhu), Sahar Airport (Bay no.54) and Centaur Hotel (near airport).
The attack was planned by Tiger Memon, Mohammad Dossa and Mustafa Dossa under the dreaded don Dawood Ibrahim as revenge for the demolition of the Babri Masjid. It involved the first major use of RDX after the Second World War.
Mustafa Dossa, Tiger Memon and Chhota Shakeel organised training camps in Pakistan and in India to impart weapon and arms training and handling of explosives to the planters. They sent men from India to Pakistan via Dubai for arms training.
The prosecution said that the blast was carried out to terrorise the masses, send a message to the government and to create communal disharmony.
The court has set a hearing on June 20 to decide the quantum of sentence.