Photo by Hanif Sindhi
Gujarat Sessions Court convicted 49 of the 78 accused in the serial bomb blast that took place in Ahmedabad in 2008. The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment at 10.30 am on Wednesday. The court has acquitted a total of 28 accused in the case on suspicion.
The 49 accused were convicted under Sections 302, 307, 326, 427, 435, 465, 468, 471, 212, 121(A), 124 (A), 153 A(1), 201, 120 B34, 109 of IPC and Sections 10, 13, 16 (1) (A) (B),18, 19, 20 23, 38, 39, 40 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
The prosecution had cited the incident as an act of terrorism, and as many as 547 charge sheets were filed and 1,163 witnesses examined during the course of trial, said Special Public Prosecutor Amit Patel.
Tight police cordon has been set up outside the special court following the verdict. For the first time since the trial, other lawyers and parties have been barred from entering the courtroom. Vehicles including cars have been checked in the parking lot. 1 DCP, 2 ACPs and 100 policemen are present in the court complex. Only the lawyers of the case are being admitted in the court. Police are constantly patrolling sensitive areas in Ahmedabad city.
The court had concluded the trial in the more than 13-year-old case in September last year. Special judge AR Patel, who presided over the trial court, has resumed work after recovering from COVID-19. The trial court had set February 1 as the date for the judgment, but the matter was deferred to February 8 after the judge fell ill.
At least 56 people were killed and over 200 injured in 21 bomb blasts that rocked Ahmedabad city within a span of 70 minutes on July 26, 2008. The police had claimed people associated with the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM), a faction of radicals of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), were involved in the blasts.
It was alleged IM terrorists had planned and executed the attack as revenge for the 2002 post-Godhra riots. Days after the Ahmedabad blasts, cops recovered bombs from different parts of Surat, following which 20 FIRs were registered in Ahmedabad and 15 in Surat. The trial in the case began in December 2009 against 78 persons connected to IM after the court merged all 35 FIRs.
The number of accused came down to 77 after one of them turned approver. Four more accused were arrested later, but their trial has not yet commenced, a senior government lawyer said. Over 1,100 witnesses were examined by the prosecution. The accused are facing charges of murder and criminal conspiracy, among others, and they have also been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The special court initially heard the case from inside the high-security Sabarmati Central Jail and the proceedings were later conducted mostly through video-conferencing. When the trial was underway, some of the incarcerated accused had allegedly tried to escape by digging a 213 feet long tunnel in the jail in 2013. The trial for this jailbreak attempt is still pending.
|Sr No.||Name of Accused||Convicted/Acquitted|
|6||Mohammad Arif Kagzi||Convicted|
|7||Mohammad Usman Agarbativala||Convicted|
|10||Aamil Parvaz Shaikh||Convicted|
|12||Safdar Hussain Nagori||Convicted|
|13||Hafiz Hussain Mulla||Convicted|
|14||Mohammad Sajid Mansuri||Convicted|
|15||Mufti Abubsar Shaikh||Convicted|
|18||Javed Ahmed Shaikh||Convicted|
|19||Rajeyuddin M Naseruddin||Acquitted|
|22||Imran Ahmed Pathan||Convicted|
|26||Mohammad Ali Ansair||Convicted|
|27||Mohammad Ismail Mansuri||Convicted|
|29||Mohammad Zakir Shaikh||Acquitted|
|30||Mohammad Sadik Shaikh||Convicted|
|31||Mohammad Arif Shaikh||Convicted|
|34||Mohammad Mansur Pirbhoy||Acquitted|
|36||Mohammad Aarif Mirza||Convicted|
|38||Mohammad Saif Shaikh||Convicted|
|39||Zeeshan Ahmed Shaikh||Convicted|
|40||Zeeyur Rehman Teli||Convicted|
|41||Sakib Nisaar Azmi||Acquitted|
|42||Mohammad Shakil Luhar||Convicted|
|44||Mohammad Akbar Choudhary||Convicted|
|45||Fazale Rehman Durani||Convicted|
|46||Mohammad Naushad Saiyed||Convicted|
|47||Ahmed Bava Barelvi||Convicted|
|51||Doctor Anvar Bagwan||Acquitted|
|52||Mohammad Yasin Khan||Acquitted|
|53||Mohammad Irfan Mansuri||Acquitted|
|54||Naseer Ahmed Patel||Acquitted|
|55||Shakil Ahmed Mali||Acquitted|
|57||Dr Asdullah H||Acquitted|
|58||Mohammad Sami Bagewadi||Acquitted|
|59||Mohammad Ansar Razak||Convicted|
|61||Dr Ahmedbag Mirza||Acquitted|
|63||Mohammed Tanveer Pathan||Convicted|
|65||Mohammad Yunus Sabir||Acquitted|
|66||Mohammad Sakif Ansari||Convicted|
|68||Mohammad Habib Shaikh||Acquitted|
|70||Mohammad Mobin Safurkhan||Convicted|
|71||Mohammad Shahid Nagori||Acquitted|
|73||Afai Iqbal Saiyed||Acquitted|
|74||Mohammad Abrar Maniyar||Convicted|
|75||Mohammad Rakif Ahmed||Convicted|