German Bakery blast accused Himayat Baig gets death
A Pune court Thursday sentenced German Bakery blast convict Himayat Baig to death for his role in the terror attack which left 17 people dead in February 2010.
Three days ago, Pune sessions court Special Judge N.P. Dhote had held Baig guilty in the case in which he was the lone accused arrested.
A resident of Beed district, Baig was nabbed from Udgir town in neighbouring Latur district by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in September 2010, nearly seven months after the terror attack.
After his arrest, the ATS charged Baig with hatching a conspiracy along with his six associates for the terror blast at German Bakery, situated in the up-market Koregaon Park area of Pune.
On the day of his conviction April 15, Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakre said Baig was charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 302, 307 (murder and attempt to murder), 435, 474 (mischief by fire and explosive and forgery) and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), besides other charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Explosives Act.
The court upheld the prosecution contention that the blast was "a carefully planned and executed attack" calculated to terrorise the general public, causing extensive damage to life and property.
The prosecution said the primary objective of the terror attack was to undermine and reduce faith of the common people in the elected government and destabilise the system of law.
The special judge upheld the prosecution argument that the terror attack caused deaths of foreign nationals, earning the country a bad name.
THE BLAST THAT SHOOK PUNE
A powerful bomb had exploded at the German Bakery, a popular eatery also frequented by foreigners, on February 13, 2010, which left 17 dead and 64 injured, in first terror attack in Pune. Among the dead were five foreigner national.
It was also the first major terror strike after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks in 2008.
The Maharashtra Police's Anti-Terrorism Squad, which arrested Baig, had filed a chargesheet in the case on December 4, 2010 against Baig and six others including Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, one of the handlers of 26/11 terrorists, Fayyaz Kagzi, Yasin Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal and Mohsin Chaudhari. Jundal, however, has not been shown arrested in this case, while all others are absconding.
Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Headley, in his testimony before a US court in the trial of his accomplice Tahawwur Rana, had admitted that he had recced and taken photographs of the popular hang-out in Pune.