2002-03 Mumbai triple blasts: Justice after a 13-year wait

Acquitted by a special court in the 2002-03 triple blasts case, Adnan Mulla, Mohammad Nadeem Paloba and Haroon Lohar are relieved at losing the terror tag

The verdict in the 2002-03 triple blasts case – declared yesterday by a special court – came as a relief to three men, who were previously accused. The court has now acquitted Adnan Mulla, Mohammad Nadeem Paloba and Haroon Lohar.

Adnan Mulla and Nadeem Polaba, who were acquitted by the POTA court, on Tuesday in the triple blast case of 2002-03. Pics/Satej Shinde
Adnan Mulla and Nadeem Polaba, who were acquitted by the POTA court, on Tuesday in the triple blast case of 2002-03. Pics/Satej Shinde

Speaking to mid-day, Adnan Mulla said, “I was illegally detained by the cops and they alleged I was getting training under SIMI. I was kept under illegal detention for over 35 days before the cops arrested me.”

Difficult time
Mulla is the brother-in law of prime conspirator Saquib Abdul Hamid Nachan, who was convicted by the court yesterday. When asked about where he was when the blast took place, Mulla said he was not involved in any cases.

He said, “I surrendered in Padgha on May 5, 2003, on allegations of getting training under SIMI. I was taken into custody on June 10. I was released in 2010, and later, I got married. I used to stay with my brothers and sisters. It was a very difficult time for them to gather money for my case. I am very happy that I have been acquitted; there was no evidence against me, and this shows I had no involvement.” Currently, Mulla sells milk in the area.

Tension in family
Mohammad Nadeem Paloba, a resident of Mumbra and engineer by profession, was the second person to get acquitted. He was arrested for purchasing chemicals for the blast. Paloba said, “I was taken into custody on April 20, 2003 and on May 15 I was shown as arrested in the case. All those days, I was kept in custody illegally.”

“At the time I was arrested, my wife was pregnant with our third child. There was a lot of tension in the family at the time. They tried everything so I could be out, but it failed.”

Paloba said, adding, “All my licenses were seized and I suffered badly. For sometime, I was in the fish business. Currently, I am back in engineering.”

Waiting to be a free man
The third person to be acquitted is Haroon Lohar. Speaking to mid-day he said, “The case of the prosecution was fake. I was made an accused forcefully since I was a resident of Kurla. I had nothing to do in the matter. I have six kids, but I could not see them grow up or provide them with anything. I got my elder daughter married early as I was afraid of the judgment and wanted to see the marriage. I am waiting for the order copy to be a free man,” said Haroon.

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