The Central Bureau of Investigation has sought death penalty for Taher Merchant and Karimulla Khan in connection with the 1993 serial blasts case. Both were convicted on charges including criminal conspiracy, murder and under sections of the Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act on June 16, along with Mustafa Dossa, Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan and Abu Salem. On Merchant’s role, special CBI counsel Deepak Salvi argued that the degree of responsibility of the conspiracy was the ‘highest’ against him. Salvi said Merchant played a prominent role in the conspiracy and was among the initiators. Salvi also submitted before the special TADA court that Merchant had a ‘good rapport’ with Pakistani agency ISI and had been involved in making arrrangements for travel and visa for men chosen to go to the neighbouring country for weapons training.
“He is one of the main conspirators who was part of many conspiracy meetings held in Dubai, including with the main absconding accused, Tiger Memon and Ayub Memon,” Salvi argued. On Karimulla’s role, Salvi submitted that he was a key member of the Eijaz Pathan gang. He said Karimulla was involved in landing arms and ammunition sent by Dossa at Shekhadi port in Maharashtra.
On June 16, while pronouncing him guilty, the court had observed that Karimulla had knowledge of the conspiracy and had attended a conspiracy meeting held by Tiger Memon where taking revenge for riots after the Babri Masjid demolition had been discussed. Salvi will continue arguing on the quantum of punishment for Salem and Riyaz Siddiqui, who had been convicted under the TADA Act, on Saturday.