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Tiger's associate, builder guilty in blast case

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Nov 23: The designated TADA court here today convicted prime absconding accused Tiger Memon's associate and a city-based builder for helping Memon in storing and transporting the RDX, which was subsequently used to unleash terror in the metropolis on March 12, 1993.

The presiding Special Judge P D Kode, convicted Tiger's associate Liyaqat Ali and builder Noor Mohammad Khan under various sections of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and the Explosive Substances act.

His bail was cancelled and he was immediately taken into custody by the police.

Liyaqat was found guilty of allowing absconding accused, Yeda Yakub and others to store 80 cartons of RDX in his godown at the Maharashtra Industrial Development Centre (MIDC) at Thane. He was also pronounced guilty for transporting the same to various destinations in the city.

In view of the fact that his confession corroborated the confessions of the other co-accused, the Court convicted him under section 3(3) of TADA and section 5 read with section 6 of the Explosive Substances Act.

On the other hand, builder Noor Khan was convicted for agreeing to keep 58 bags of RDX at his godown located at Kashimira in Thane district. This consignment was smuggled into the country by Tiger Memon.

The prosecution had also submitted that Noor Khan had stored and then disposed of this consignment in the Thane creek, for a consideration of Rs 5 lakh.

Judge Kode observed that the confessional statement of the accused and other related material produced before the court proves his involvement in the case, beyond resonable doubt. The court pronounced him guilty under sections 3 (2) of TADA for aiding and abetting a terrorist act and under section 201 of the IPC, for destroying evidence.

He was however, acquitted from the charge of conspiracy.

After the judgement was pronounced, there were some tense moments in Court, as Khan got agitated and loudly insisted that he was innocent.

''I am just an innocent victim of circumstances,'' he charged.

In a related development, the Court demanded to examine Ezaz Pathan's medical report. He too was recently found guilty in the blast case. Judge Kode had earlier adjourned EZAZ's plea to November 30 and said that he will decide upon his plea only after perusing his medical report.

A semi-paralysed Pathan had earlier moved a bail application seeking his release on humanitarian grounds. He is currently admitted at J J hospital, where he had recently undergone an MRI scan test.

Meanwhile, crime branch officials today moved an application seeking the Court's permission for the custodial interrogation of Pathan. He is suspected to be the master-mind behind the broad day-light murder of police informer Amjad Khan and Santosh Chaudhary, which took place a few weeks back near the Sessions Court in south Mumbai.

After hearing the submissions of the crime branch, the court directed Pathans attorney Abbas Kazmi, to file a reply and adjourned the hearing to November 30.


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