Former Guj minister gets 20 yrs jail in Surat blasts case

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Surat, Oct 4 (UNI) A TADA court today awarded 20 years imprisonment to former Gujarat fisheries Minister Mohammad Surti and four others in the 1993 Surat blasts case.

TADA Judge R P Dholadiya, announcing the sentences in a fully packed courtroom, convicted the former minister and eleven others and acquitted one of the accused.

Of the five people who got 20 years imprisonment, Surti, Hussain Ghadaiyali and former Congress corporator Iqbal Wadivala were awarded a fine of Rs two lakh each. Mushtaq Patel was slapped with a fine of Rs one lakh while a fine of Rs 50,000 was imposed on Yusuf Dadu. The seven other convicts were awarded 10 years imprisonment.

On January 28, 1993, soon after the serial blasts in Mumbai, two bombs exploded in Surat, in which a young girl was killed and 38 others were injured.

The first bomb was lobbed in Varachha area on the outskirts of Surat in which a young girl Alpa Patel was killed, whereas, the second grenade was lobbed at a train stationed on a platform, injuring 38 passengers.

Police had arrested 13 people including former minister Mr Surti.

A TADA court heard the case and in the process examined around 166 witnesses including former police officers Sudhir Sinha and Pravin Sinha and former Railway judge R P Mehta.

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