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German Bakery blast convict gets death for ‘heinous terrorist act’

The judge also awarded several prison terms to Baig for convictions under various sections

Written by Chandan Haygunde | Pune | Published: April 19, 2013 3:34:41 am

Additional Sessions Judge N P Dhote on Thursday awarded the death penalty to Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig (33),who was convicted earlier this week for involvement in the German Bakery bombing of February 13,2010,which killed 17 and wounded 64.

“From the proven circumstances,the act falls under the ‘rarest of the rare’ case. In the wake of proven facts and taking into consideration the observations made by the apex court… the only punishment the accused deserves is the death penalty,” the court said.

The judge also awarded several prison terms to Baig for convictions under various sections of the Indian Penal Code,Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act.

The judge observed that evidence and testimonies put forth by the prosecution had proved beyond doubt that the accused had conspired to bomb the bakery,and participated in the execution of this “heinous terrorist act”.

“…The accused is greatly influenced by the ideology of terrorism and looking at his calculated moves in giving effect to the conspiracy and terrorism act,I am of the considered view that there are no chances of his reformation and that he is a threat to society,” the judgment said.

Baig has the right to appeal in the high court. “The death penalty is applicable only after confirmation from the High Court,” said the judgment.

Baig’s lawyer A Rahman pleaded for leniency on the grounds of his young age,poor family background and the fact that he was an educated person with BA and B.Ed degrees.

“He (Baig) is only accused of accompanying Yasin Bhatkal,who allegedly planted the bomb… None of the six other accused… have been arrested. There is no evidence… that proves Baig is a member of Indian Mujahideen or LeT,” Rahman said. He also argued that the Maharashtra ATS had failed to visit the Sri Lankan capital Colombo,where the conspiracy was allegedly hatched in March 2008.

Rahman cited seven Supreme Court judgments arguing that even in cases of brutal murders in which the accused was directly involved,the court has decided against awarding the death penalty.

Special public prosecutor Raja Thakre argued that Baig might have been a teacher,but the lessons he taught to youths were those of jehad and terrorism. Age,Thakre said,could not be a ground for leniency: Yakub Memon who got death for the 1993 Bombay blasts was only 33 at the time of the attacks. Even Ajmal Kasab,who was hanged for 26/11,was young,Thakre said.

“Recovery of RDX from the accused has been proved in this court. Evidence shows the accused collected and possessed forged documents of fake identity,fake card of being handicapped… It should be considered that the monster of terror has affected many countries. The recent terror strikes at Bangalore and Boston should be kept in mind. The accused has been held guilty of an act of terror,hence death penalty should be awarded,” Thakre said.

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