A Special Terrorism and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) court on Friday convicted six of the seven accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Gangsters Mustafa Dossa and Abu Salem, along with Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, Karimullah Khan, Tahir Merchant and Riaz Siddiqui were all pronounced guilty for conspiring in the attack, that killed 257 people and injured over 700. One of the accused, Abdul Qayyum, was acquitted of all charges after the prosecution failed to prove charges against him. The quantum of sentencing is expected to begin on Tuesday. None of the convicted, however, were charged for waging was against the country.
Mustafa Dossa: Dossa, a close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, was convicted for criminal conspiracy and murder under sections of the IPC, TADA Act, Arms Act and the Explosives Act. Dossa was found guilty of landing explosives in Mumbai, including the deadly RDX, which was used in the attacks for the first time since World War II. He also sent youth to Pakistan to be trained ahead of the attack.
Abu Salem: Gangster Salem was charged under Section 3(5) of the TADA Act and under criminal conspiracy and provisions of the Explosives Act. Salem was earlier arrested in Lisbon in 2000, where he was sentenced to five years imprisonment for entering the country illegally. The same year, Indian authorities initiated his extradition under the United Nations Convention on Suppression of Terrorism. He was extradited to India in 2005 on the condition that he would not face capital punishment. He is lodged in Taloja Central Jail in Raigad.
Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan: Firoz Khan was found guilty of conspiracy and murder under sections of the IPC, TADA and Explosives Act. He was accused of actively participating in transporting weapons to dighi jetty in Mumbai ahead of the attacks.
Karimullah Khan: Karimullah was found guilty of meeting alleged mastermind Tiger Memon at a hotel in Alibagh where they discussed the Babri Masjid demolition and the atrocities against Muslims. What is the case? Read here.
Tahir Merchant: A former Hawala operator, Merchant was accused of organising conspiracy meetings. He had contacts with the Pakistan ISI, and organised funds for arms and arranged videos of provocative speeches and arranged visas for the co-accused. At least 15 people are said to have returned to Merchant’s houses in Dubai after being trained in Pakistan. Merchant was also found guilty of landing arms in Shekhadi. He was arrested by authorities in 2008.
Riaz Siddiqui: He was convicted under Section 3(3) of the TADA Act, and acquitted of all other charges. His main role in the attacks was travelling to Bharuch in Gujarat in white van where he exchanged the vehicle with Salem and others on the instructions of Anees Kaskar, who is still absconding. The court found that he helped in the transportation of illicit arms, ammunitions and explosives to Bombay. Siddiqui was also close to Anis Ibrahim Kaskar and Mustafa Dossa, the main conspirators of the attack. Read what’s happened in the case so far here.
Abdul Qayyum: Qayyum is the only one who was acquitted of all charges by the court, which ordered his release on a PR bond of Rs one lakh. The prosecution was unable to prove any charges against him.
The seven accused were arrested by Indian authorities towards the end of the previous trial in the TADA court. For this reason, the court had ordered a separate trial for them. In the first trial, at least 100 people were convicted for their involvement in the attack, including Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt who was found guilty of possession of arms. He completed his five-year sentence and was released early in 2016.