Blast case verdict: Security intensified in TN Dist

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Coimbatore, Oct 23 (UNI) With the special court to pronounce sentences for 70 people convicted of criminal conspiracy and murder in the 1998 serial blasts case tomorrow, the city has come under a security blanket.

Police sources said the movement of public and vehicles around the court premises would be restricted and the city would come under tight security.

Armed guards would be posted in sensitive areas and places of worship and vehicle checks intensified on border areas.

Police pickets would be set up at important points and mobile patrolling intensified. Additional forces would be deployed in sensitive areas of the district, they added.

Banned Al-Umma Founder-Leader S A Basha and General Secretary Mohammed Ansari were among the 70 who were convicted by Special Judge K Uthirapathi on August one last.

Of the 167 arrested in connection with the blasts triggered on February 14, 1998, during the visit of BJP Leader L K Advani, 158 had been convicted and eight others, including Kerala-based PDP leader, Abdul Naseer Maudhany, were acquited as chages against them were not proved.

One of the accused had turned approver.

Eighty-eight people convicted of minor charges like attempted murder and possession of explosives were sentenced to imprisonment for terms ranging from 21 months to nine years.

As all of them had already served their sentences as undertrials, Judge Uthirapathi ordered their release.

UNI

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