TWENTY-EIGHT years after he was first booked for his attempt at making a bomb, a sessions court last week convicted Dr Jalees Ansari for the offence.
The additional sessions judge in Malegaon on October 30 found Ansari, who has been given the moniker ‘Dr Bomb’ by investigators, guilty under the Explosive Substance Act and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, while acquitting him under the Arms Act.
The case dates back to July 17, 1990. The prosecution has claimed that two men, both residents of Girna Bhilati in Malegaon, had gone to the bank of the Girna river to answer nature’s call. There, they had seen one person sitting with a bag and digging soil. They claimed that the man put something inside the pit he dug and left. The two men went to the spot, took out the hidden articles and then left them as it is. When they were returning home, they heard a loud explosion coming from the spot.
The prosecution said the two men then began looking for the person who was digging and found him at a nearby tea stall. They apprehended the man and called the police. As they handed him over to the police, the man identified himself as Mumbai resident Jalees Ansari, who was working as a doctor in a civic-run hospital. Ansari was arrested at that time and then released on bail.
However, he was arrested again in January 1994 with the police claiming he was involved in multiple blasts across the country. While he was acquitted in many of these cases, Ansari is currently serving life imprisonment in Rajasthan after the Supreme Court in 2016 dismissed his appeal against his conviction for carrying out blasts in trains during the intervening night of December 5 and 6, 1993 in six locations.
As he was under trial in the other cases, the trial in the first case against him in Malegaon remained on the backburner. The prosecution had examined witnesses, including the two eyewitnesses, who deposed about having seen Ansari plant the articles at the spot.
Defence advocate A A Mannan, representing Ansari in Malegaon, had submitted to the court that the two eyewitnesses were not independent witnesses. He also said the panch witness had turned hostile.
The court, however, found credence in the deposition of the two eyewitnesses. It also said that it accepted the prosecution’s contention that since many people went to the spot to answer nature’s call, the eyewitnesses went there.