While Tuesday’s verdict by the Special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court was a happy one for three men who were acquitted, it spelled doom for the 10 convicted in the 2002-2003 blasts case. Yesterday the 10 convicts gave their statements to the court regarding the quantum of their sentences.

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Most of them asked for minimum sentences and leniency in the verdict. Their lawyers and prosecution would be continuing arguments on the quantum of sentence today.

Saquib Nachan
Saquib Nachan, who was acquitted from the blast case and convicted for possession of certain unauthorized arms told the court, “I surrendered on my own after the direction of the High Court. A bomb-blaster will never come before a court.” Nachan said he has been in jail for 8 years. “Since June 2015, to present date I have been engaged with this court. For the past two years, I could not attend the other court for smaller case, which has 20 to 30 witnesses. During the course of trial I moved HC thrice for a CBI probe in the case.”

He further said, “I have suffered for 10 years. Till yesterday, I was facing a charge of waging war against the nation. He added, “In 2003, I had three kids. Now I am a grandfather. My father, who passed away last month, took me to the High Court and made me surrender. He asked me just one question, “tumne blast kiya kya” (Were you behind the blasts?) to which I said no. My father had faith in the judiciary. He said if you have not done the blast you would be okay.” Nachan ended by saying that he is praying for a minimum five-year sentence.

Muzammil Ansari
Muzammil Akhtar Ansari who has been convicted for the bomb blast said, “I am from a poor family. I am a mechanical engineer working in a shop.”

“At the time of arrest, I was the only earning member. I was falsely implicated. I respect the verdict of the court. My co-accused were falsely implicated and they gave false confessions. I have mental disorders and I tend to forget. During the time I was in jail I helped other accused in writing letters to their family. I also helped jail inmates to study. I am requesting for interim bail as I want to reside with family.”

Ateef Mulla
Ateef Mulla

Ateef Mulla said, “I was the first person to get bail. I have been in jail for three years. My family went through intense trauma after I was arrested. My father is a diabetic and a cancer survivor. My two-year-old son had a bone marrow transplant in August, 2015 and needs isolation, has to be taken to hospital after every 15 days.”

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“My family is suffering and they are dependent on me. While on bail I have followed all the conditions, I do not have any other case against me and hence, a minimum sentence should be granted and some leniency should be given.”

Kamil Shaikh
“My financial condition is poor. The court had granted me with legal aid for my bail. I have my mother, grandmother and five sisters to look after.”

Noor Mohammad
“I have an ill mother at home and there is no one to take care of her. I am innocent.”

Hasib Mulla
Hasib Mulla

I have been in jail for eight years. I am a cattle food supplier and my family is totally dependent on me.

Ghulam Khotal
Ghulam Khotal

“I was released on bail after six years and four months. My daughter met with accident and under gone surgery. I have a weak financial condition. Even after the bail I had a good record with no other case against me.”

Farhan Khot
“I have to take care of my mother and I have wife and three kids to look after as well. My financial condition is very weak.”

Dr Wahid Ansari
“I had my medical practice. Because of the case I do not get to work.”

Anwar Ali
“I was a lecturer at the National Academy in Pune. After my arrest, the academy had terminated my service. I have no previous cases. I am in a poor financial condition.”