OVER 24 years after 257 people were killed and 713 more injured in the 1993 serial blasts, the identities of at least 100 victims, including 25 dead, remain unknown, according to the CBI. After a special court pronounced its judgment against seven accused on September 7, it had directed the CBI to trace injured victims as well as kin of the deceased victims not included in the list submitted by the agency earlier. The recent list submitted by the CBI to the special court has names and addresses of 232 who lost their lives and 638 who were injured. Twenty-five of those killed remain unidentified and 75 injured are untraceable, the CBI told the court.
Special Public Prosecutor Deepak Salvi told the court on Monday that the identity of some of the victims could not be ascertained due to various reasons. “The blast was of such intensity that in some cases, the bodies were charred beyond recognition and were not identified. In some cases, only limbs separated from the body were found,” Salvi told the court.
A CBI officer said that after the court’s order, based on documents available, they had begun putting together a list of the injured and dead victims. “There may have been chaos at the time of the incident. Some names of the injured victims are incomplete,” he said.
After submitting a final list of identified victims, the CBI informed the court that if any more names are found later, they will directly inform the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA).
Special Judge Govind A Sanap on Tuesday directed the CBI to report compliance on the compensation. The court also directed the Registrar of the Sessions Court to forward the final list to the DLSA, Mumbai.
It has asked the DLSA to process and decide the compensation as early as possible and within the framework of the victim compensation scheme. It said that the DLSA shall be entitled to utilise the services of the CBI Special Task Force for deciding claims.
In its judgment on September 7, the special court designated under Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, had said that the fine levied on the accused is ‘meagre’ and ‘inadequate’ for the victims and had hence directed the DLSA to recommend adequate compensation for them. On March 12, 1993, a series of 12 explosions had taken place between 1.30pm and 3.40pm in various parts of the city. This year, in the second phase of the trial, six men were convicted by the special court. While accused Mustafa Dossa died before the quantum of punishment could be announced, two others, Feroz Khan and Taher Merchant, were sentenced to death.