Nine more sentenced in serial bomb blasts case

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Coimbatore, Oct 15 (UNI) A Special Court, hearing the sensational 1998 serial bomb blasts case here, today sentenced nine more convicted of minor charges to imprisonment ranging from two to nine years.

Special Court Judge K Uthirapathy also slapped a fine of Rs 1,000, in default to undergo one month simple imprisonment on nine people against whom major charges like criminal conspiracy were not proved.

As the Judge ordered that the sentences would run concurrently and in view of the convict already being in prison for over nine years, they were set off from the case. However, two of them Shamsudeen and Samjith Ahamed were sent back to prison as the former was sentenced to life imprisonment in another case and trial was pending for the latter in other cases.

The Judge then posted the case to October 18 for pronouncement of sentence to three more accused as they were not present in court today. The trio, Abudakeer, Bugari alias Ummar and Sultan alias Siddique Ali, were convicted to life imprisonment in other cases.

The Judge announced that the sentences would be pronounced on October 24 for 70 other convicts, including banned Al-Umma President S A Basha and Secretary Mohammed Ansari, against whom major charges were proved.

The Judge had so far sentenced 85 people in the case, of which 83 walked free as they were sentenced to nine years in jail and had already served more than the sentence.

The serial blasts, which rocked this textile city on February 14, 1998, had claimed 58 lives, injured over 250 and destroyed property worth several crores. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of CBCID had arrested 168 people, including Kerala-based People's Democratic Party (PDP) President Abdul Nasser Maudhany. The Judge had acquitted eight accused, including Mr Maudhany. While one accused Mohammed Dustagir had died in judicial custody, Riaz-ur-Rahman turned approver. Minor charges were proved against 88 accused and major charges against 70.

UNI

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