1993 blast convict Thapa dies of lung cancer

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Mumbai, Apr 11 (UNI) Somnath Thapa, a dismissed customs collector who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, today passed away in a city hospital of lung cancer.

Thapa was convicted by the designated TADA court last year and was lodged at the Yerawada Jail in Pune. He, however, had been granted bail by the Supreme Court on medical grounds.

Thapa was convicted by the court for actively participating in the conspiracy of the blasts and allowing the landing of deadly arms and ammunition at Raigad where he was then posted.

The March 12, 1993 serial blasts had killed 257 people and injured 574 others besides damaging property worth crores of rupees.

The TADA court had convicted 100 people, including Thapa.

Incidentally, Thapa is the third convict who has died since conviction.

Two other convicts -- Ijaz Pathan and Mohamed Iqbal -- had died in jail. Pathan had been sentenced to seven years imprisonment while Iqbal had been awarded the death sentence.

Two other convicts Dawood Phanse and Mohamed Qasam Lajpuria are seriously ill and are admitted in the hospital ward of the jail.

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