1993 Mumbai blast convict breaks down, pleads for mercy

Feroze Khan, one of the convicts in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, seeks life term and not death, saying his children know that he is alive and are hoping he will come back home one day

A dozen bombs ripped apart Mumbai on March 12, 1993, killing 257 people and injuring over 700
A dozen bombs ripped apart Mumbai on March 12, 1993, killing 257 people and injuring over 700

The special TADA court yesterday recorded the statement of one of the convicts in the 1993 serial blasts case, Feroze Khan, on the point of sentencing. At the end of the deposition, he broke down and begged for life sentence, not death.

An undertrial and a convict serving life in Taloja jail also deposed for Feroze.

The prosecution is expected to start its arguments on the quantum of punishment.

Also read - 1993 Mumbai serial blasts: CBI to seek death for the four convicts

While Feroze Khan
While Feroze Khan begged to be spared from the death penalty, Karimullah Khan (below) complained that he was not being given food

A plea for life
Making a case for himself, Feroze, in his deposition, told the court that he appeared for law exams while in jail and also pursued a human rights course; he was one of the toppers in an exam on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, Feroze said.

Also read - I had faith in the judiciary: 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts accused

He spoke about his family and said that after his arrest, his family depended on his money for two-three months, and later, his wife found a job in Dubai, while his parents survived on their pension. Feroze also said he lost his mother in March 2013.

"I have been in jail for seven years. My children don't know where I am, they know that I exist somewhere and will return someday. My family suffered a lot after my arrest; all of them were ostracised, and my relatives distanced themselves from me," he added.

Begged to be spared from the death penalty, Karimullah Khan complained that he was not being given food

"Initially it was hard to pass time (in jail); after a few months, then DIG Surendra Kumar told me to teach the other inmates. So, I taught basic English to 10-odd inmates. I also gave English lessons to Karimullah. I have drafted bail and other applications for many inmates, and also, counselled many. I helped a person accused of molestation to get bail and told him to apologise to the girl and her father. Three months later, he got a job in the Navy, and now, he is on board."

Also read - 1993 Mumbai serial blasts: A family affair unfolds outside the courtroom

"I am in pain, I am close to collapsing. I want to be with my family, I need to be by my father's side; he is seriously ill. I don't belong here," he said, breaking down in the witness box. "Please don't give me the death sentence, give me life. I want my kids to know that I exist. Don't give me parole or furlough, but don't give me the death sentence."

Mustafa Dossa said he was being denied mineral water. FILE PICS
Mustafa Dossa said he was being denied mineral water. FILE PICS

Convicts' complaints
After Feroze's deposition, the prosecution told the court that it would decide and inform it on Wednesday if it wants to cross-examine him.

Also read - 1993 Mumbai serial blasts: All you need to know about the 7 accused

Meanwhile, the other convicts and their lawyers complained to the court about a change in the behaviour of the jail authorities after conviction. Mustafa Dossa told the court that he was not being given mineral water, while Karimullah Khan's lawyer said that his client was being mistreated and not given food. The court then directed the prosecutor and jail authorities to not behave in this manner with the convicts.

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