A Hyderabad metropolitan court on Monday convicted Tarik Anjum who was accused of harbouring perpetrators of the 2007 Hyderabad blasts in New Delhi and other places. The court is expected to pronounce later in the day the quantum of punishment against three terror operatives, including Anjum, convicted for their role in the blasts where two powerful explosions ripped through a popular eatery and an open-air theatre, killing 44 people and wounding 68.
On September 4, Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge (in-charge) T Srinivas Rao pronounced Aneeq Shafique Sayeed and Mohammed Akbar Ismail Chowdhari guilty in the 11-year-old case but acquitted two other accused Farooq Sharfuddin Tarkash and Mohammed Sadiq Israr Ahmed Shaik for want of enough evidence. The Special Court is housed in the premises of the Cherlapalli Central Prison, where they are currently lodged.
The prosecution will seek capital punishment for the convicts, said Special Public Prosecutor C Seshu Reddy, who represented the Counter Intelligence Wing of the Telangana Police, which had investigated the case and arrested the five accused. However, the defence counsels said they will challenge the verdict against the convicts in the High Court.
According to another Public Prosecutor K Surender, Aneeq and Chowdhari were found guilty of carrying out blasts at Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park and also in connection with the recovery of the unexploded bomb from under a foot overbridge in Dilsukh Nagar area. The duo was found guilty of murder and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code and relevant provisions of the Arms Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the prosecutors said.
Two synchronised blasts had rocket Gokul Chaat, a popular eatery, killing 32 people and leaving 47 injured, and an open-air theatre in Lumbini Park close to the state secretariat where 12 people died and 21 wounded. Three other accused named in the charge sheets including ‘Indian Mujahideen’ founder Riyaz Bhatkal, his brother Iqbal, and Amir Reza Khan are absconding.
The Bhatkal brothers of Karnataka are believed to have taken shelter in Pakistan. The trial against five accused in the case was shifted to a court hall located on the premises of Cherlapalli Central Prison from a court located in Nampally Court complex in June this year. Two of those acquitted face some other cases in Maharashtra.