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10 convicted, 3 acquitted by POTA court in 2002-03 Mumbai blasts case

A special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court on Tuesday gave its verdict in the triple bomb blasts case that took place in Mumbai between December 2002 and March 2003 and convicted 10 accused.

2002-03 Mumbai blasts case-AV

All the 10 accused have been convicted under various sections of POTA, Arms Act, Explosive substances Act, and Railways Act. Three accused in the case have been acquitted by the judge. The 3 acquitted by special court are Nadeem Paloba, Harun Lohar and Adnan Mulla. The court will decide quantum of sentence on Wednesday.

Those convicted include a former SIMI general secretary.

The first blast occurred near McDonald’s eatery in Mumbai Central Terminus on December 6, 2002, another in a Vile Parle market on January 27, 2003 and the third in a crowded ladies First Class compartment of a suburban train near Mulund on March 13, 2003.

The prosecution said the accused, mostly members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), wanted to avenge the razing of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in 1992 and the communal riots in Gujarat in 2002.

The three blasts, killed twelve people and injured 139. According to the Mumbai police, the act was the handiwork of the banned organisation SIMI. Prosecution alleged that former general secretary of SIMI, Saquib Nachan along with Pakistani national and member of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Faisal Khan were the mastermind behind the blast, along with 23 other accused. Out of the total 25 accused, five including Khan died ,while five other accused are still absconding.

Police said Saquib Nachan, with the help of his other SIMI members gathered more men power and arranged for arms and ammunition while Dr. Wahid Ansari with the help of wanted accused prepared for bombs. It was Muzamil Ansari who along with an absconding accused Janab, who planted most of the bombs.

The three cases – though far between and in different parts of Mumbai – were clubbed together by the court as a common conspiracy linked them.

All the accused were charged with murder, attempt to murder, causing grievous hurt, waging war against the nation, criminal conspiracy besides several charges under the Indian Penal Code, Railways Act, Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act and POTA.

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