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Tada to deliver verdict in 1993 serial blast case

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Aug 9: Thirteen years after the serial bomb blasts that rocked the metropolis, the designated Tada Court will commence dictating its judgement from tomorrow.

The case involves 123 accused of which 86 are out on bail, including cine star Sanjay Dutt and few members of the Memon family, who had allegedly masterminded the blast, have been directed to remain present in the court on August 10 and not to leave its jurisdiction.

Terrorist and Disruptive Activities(TADA)(Prevention) Act Judge P D Kode trying the case will commence delivery of judgement in a court room housed at Arthur Road Jail in South-Central Mumbai. The trial of 1993 serial blast case began on June 19, 1995 and the same was concluded in 2003, after the court examined 686 witnesses, two accused-turned-approvers and recording evidences running into 14,000 pages.

At the instance of Pakistan-based intelligence agency -- ISI-- the conspiracy of the blast was hatched after the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya and communal violance in Mumbai.

The conspiratorial meeting took place in Dubai and was executed in Mumbai and various parts of the state. The meeting was then attended by Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, Tiger Memon and other blast accused who had actively participated for committing this offence.

Ironically, these two prime accused --Dawood and Memon --are still absconding. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had earlier issued red-corner notices against them and they have been declared as 'proclaimed offenders'.

However, it was learnt during the investigations that the other accused persons were sent to Dubai via Pakistan for recieving training in handling arms and ammunition. The deadly RDX and arms were landed in the coastal region of Maharashtra at Raigad.

In the initial stages, Crime Branch CID, probing the case, had also filed a chargesheet running into 10,000 pages. The probe was later handed over to CBI and on November 19, 1993, after the arrest of the accused person, CBI recorded the confessional statements of all the blast accused.

Incidentally, the same was retracted by all the accused except the two accused-turned-approvers who stuck to their statements and delivered evidence against the accused.

Besides, 37 accused, including extradited gangster Abu Salem and Yakub Memon are in custody. Also, 23 accused in the case had been discharged, including Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Abu Asim Azmi, by the TADA court.

Some of the accused died during the trial of the case, while two passed away in police custody, 10 were killed in gang wars and one was gunned down in police encounter.

The court also examined a defence witness, a retired hand-writing expert, who reportedly delivered evidence about the hand-writing of Yakub Memon, which was later produced in the court as a vital piece of evidence.

It maybe recalled that a series of 13 bomb explosions had rocked Mumbai on March 12, 1993, in which 257 people died, about 700 were injured and property worth several crores was destroyed.

UNI

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