2002-03 Mumbai blasts: Court convicts 10, three acquitted

A Special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court on Tuesday convicted 10 accused and acquitted three in the triple bomb blasts case that took place in Mumbai between December 2002 and March 2003. The first blast took place at McDonald’s restaurant at the Mumbai Central railway station. The second occurred in Vile Parle East, while the third in a Karjat-bound local train at Mulund railway station.

The Special Judge P R Deshmukh pronounced the order by convicting Saquib Nachan, Ateef Nazir Mulla, Hasib Zubeir Mulla, Gulam Akbar Khotal, Mohammad Kamil Shaikh, Farhan Malik Khot, Noor Mohhamad Ansari, Dr Wahid Abdul Ansari, Anwar Ali Javed Khan and Muzzamil Akhtar Abdul Ansari. Three others, Nadeem Polaba, Haroon Rashid Lohar and Adnan Mulla, were acquitted.

The blasts resulted in 12 deaths while 27 others were injured, and were believed to be the handiwork of the banned organisation, SIMI. The police filed a chargesheet against the former general secretary of SIMI, Saquib Nachan, who, it claims, was the mastermind behind the blast, along with 13 other accused.

Five other accused in the case are already dead, or were killed in encounters. These other accused and alleged SIMI operatives are Ateef Nasir Mulla, Hasib Zuber Mulla, Ghulam Khota, Mohd Kamil Shaikh, Noor Ansari, Adnan Mulla, and Anwar Khan.

According to the prosecution, two of the accused, Ansari and Janab, planted the bomb at Mcdonald’s near the Mumbai central station on December 6, 2002. On January 27, 2003, the two of them also planted a bomb at Monghibai road on a bicycle opposite the Jawahar book depot at Vile Parle and the third was planted by both in a general and a first class compartment in a Karjat-bound train on March 13, 2003, which exploded at Mulund station.

The prime accused were charged for waging a war against the nation, criminal conspiracy under the IPC and on several charges under the Arms Act, Explosive Substances Act, and POTA.

There are altogether seven confessions by accused in the case.

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