Eleven years after 42 people were killed in twin blasts that rocked Hyderabad, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court convicted two and acquitted two others in the case on Tuesday. The quantum of punishment will be announced on Monday. The two convicted are Aneeq Shafeeq Sayeed and Ismail Chaudhary.
Here is the timeline of investigation and proceedings
August 25, 2007: Two blasts occur simultaneously at 7:45 pm, one at the laser show auditorium of Lumbini Park near Hussain Sagar lake and second at Gokul Chat eatery at Koti. 32 people are killed at Lumbini Park while 10 people died in the blast at Gokul Chat. 58 are injured in both blasts. One unexploded bomb was recovered under a bridge near Dilsukhnagar.
August 27, 2007: Counter Intelligence wing of Hyderabad Police begins the investigation. They concluded that ammonium nitrate-based neogel-90 was used to make the bombs. Cops initially suspected Harkat-ul-jihad-al Islami of Bangladesh for the bombings.
October 10, 2008: Mumbai Police’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrests Mohammed Sadiq, Anique Syed, Akbar Ismail Choudhary and Ansar Ahmed, in connection with an investigation concerning Indian Mujahideen group. The four confess to their involvement in the Hyderabad blasts and name Riyaz Bhatkal as the mastermind. They also reveal the name of Iqbal Bhatkal.
February 9, 2009: The four accused are handed over to the CI Cell of Hyderabad Police by Mumbai ATS.
June 21, 2009: The Counter Intelligence Cell files a 1,125-page chargesheet against Mohammed Sadiq, Anique Syed, Akbar Ismail Choudhary and Ansar Ahmed, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal and Amir Raza. Riyaz, Iqbal and Amir are shown as absconding. The trial goes on for 11 years at the Cherlapally Central Jail where a special court was set up.
August 7, 2018: Final arguments conclude from both sides and the court posts the matter to August 27, 2018, to deliver the verdict but is postponed to September 4.
September 4, 2018: Anique Syed and Akbar Ismail Choudhary are convicted. The judge will pronounce the sentence on Monday. Two others– Mohammed Sadiq and Ansar Ahmed are acquitted for lack of evidence.
September 10, 2018: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Monday sentenced Anique Syed and Akbar Ismail Choudhary to death for planting the bombs at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat eatery at Koti which killed 43. Meanwhile, Tariq Anjum, the third convict, has been awarded life imprisonment.