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.
Two blasts had occurred at Gokul Chat eatery in Koti and the laser show auditorium at Lumbini Park around 7.45 pm on August 25, 2007. While 32 people were killed at Gokul Chat, 10 lost their lives at Lumbini Park. More than 50 were injured. An unexploded bomb was also recovered from Dilsukhnagar that night.
Earlier, the judgment was to be delivered on August 27, however, Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge T Srinivas Rao postponed it to September 4. Those arrested included Mohammed Akbar Ismail Chowdhari, Aneeq Shafique Sayeed, Farooq Sharfuddin Tarkash, Mohammed Sadiq Israr Ahmed Shaik and Tarik Anjum — were produced before the court on August 27 through video conferencing from Cherlapalli Central Prison.
The accused, who are alleged to be associated with the Indian Mujahideen, were arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in October 2008. They were charged under section 302 (murder) and other relevant provisions of the IPC and sections of Explosive Substances Act in the twin blasts.
The Counter Intelligence (CI) wing of Telangana Police filed three chargesheets against Mohammed Sadiq, Ansar Ahmed Badshah Shaik, Akber Ismail and Anique Shafeeq Syed and others — some of whom are still absconding. According to the prosecution, Aneeq Shafique Sayeed allegedly planted the bomb at Lumbini Park while Riyaz Bhatkal planted the bomb at Gokul Chat while the unexploded bomb was planted by Ismail Chowdhari.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Raheem, a blast survivor said to ANI, “It has already been 11 years. I demand that the accused be given the strictest punishment so that they understand the pain we are going through.”