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2002-03 Mumbai blasts: Saquib Nachan and 9 others convicted, 3 acquitted

Ashwin Aghor | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 6:05 IST

The special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court held 10 persons guilty of serial bomb blasts that took place between December 2002 and March 2003 in Mumbai, while three have been acquitted.

The quantum of punishment will be announced on 30 March. The judgement came after 13 years of the three blasts that claimed 12 lives and injured several others.

Three bomb blasts took place at Mulund, Mumbai Central and Vile Parle between December 2002 and March 2003. A chargesheet was field against 16 persons. The Special POTA Court found ten of the accused guilty under POTA, Arms Act and Railways Act, while 3 people - Nadeem Paloba, Haroon Lohar and Adnan Mulla - have been acquitted of all the charges due to lack of evidence. Two accused in the matter have already died, one was discharged.

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Those found guilty of the serial blasts have been identified as Saquib Nachan, Ghulam Akbar, Farhan Malik, Mujammil Akhtar Abdul Ansari, Atif Mulla, Naseer Mulla, Noor Mohammed Kameel, Noor Ali, Anwar Ali and Dr Waheed Jabbar Asnari. The Special POTA judge PR Deshmukh will pronounce the quantum of punishment on 30 March.

The quantum of punishment will be announced on 30 March

The blast at the Mumbai Central Railway station took on 6 December 2002. The bomb had been placed near a burger shop in the main building of the railway station The second blast was at a market in Vile Parle on 27 January 2003 and the third blast took place on a suburban train near Mulund on 13 March 2003. The prosecution alleged that the accused had links with the banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The motive behind the blasts was to avenge the demolition of the Babri Masjid which took place on 6 December 1992 and 2002 Gujarat riots.

The charges against the 16 accused were framed in June 2014 at the special POTA court. Saquib Nachan, alleged to be an active member of SIMI, was the main accused. All the accused had pleaded innocent at the time of framing the charges. A combined chargesheet was filed for the three bomb blasts. The accused were charged under various sections of POTA, Explosive Substance Act and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.

The blasts

6 December 2002: The second blast took place at main building of busy Mumbai Central Railway Station. The bomb was planted in air conditioner duct of a burger shop in the building. Though no one was killed in the blast, 25 persons suffered serious injuries.

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27 January 2003: The third blast took place at a crowded market outside Vile Parle Railway station. More than 30 persons were injured due to splinters those were thrown in the area after a bomb planted on a bicycle went off. The blast took place during the evening rush hour. The devastation was minimum as majority of the shops in the area were closed as it was their weekly off. A woman injured in the blast, succumbed to the injuries during the course of treatment.

13 March 2003: A powerful bomb blast on a Karjat bound local train at Mulund station claimed 11 lives and more than 70 persons were injured. This was the most powerful and devastating of all the earlier blasts. Since it was evening rush hour, the train was extremely crowded.

Edited by Aditya Menon

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First published: 30 March 2016, 8:23 IST