TODAY -
Death row for 2003 Mumbai blasts accused
Source: The Sangai Express

Mumbai, August 06 2009: A special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) Court has awarded the death sentence to all three accused in the 2003 twin Mumbai blasts at Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar.

Mohammad Hanif Syed, his wife Fehmida and third conspirator Ashrat Ansari were convicted for planting the bombs on August 25, 2003 that left 54 dead and 244 injured.

They had also planted a bomb on July 28, 2003 in a municipal bus in suburban Ghatkopar which killed two persons.

The Judge PR Puranik hearing the case observed that it had been proved beyond reasonable doubt they had committed heinous acts resulting in numerous deaths, PTI reported.

Syed and Fehmida have been found guilty of planting the bomb in taxis at Gateway of India.

Ansari delivered the bomb at Zaveri Bazaar.

Special prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam has called it a "rarest of rare" case in which the trio had "enjoyed their act of killing".

Nikam said they had been unhappy with smaller blasts that resulted in low death tolls and hence used RDX for the twin blasts.

This is for the first time that a married couple is being convicted by a POTA court for their involvement in carrying out blasts.

After the sentencing, Fahmida broke down outside the Court while her husband did not react and stood calm by her side.

Ashrat said "Is andhe kanoon se kya insaaf milega (what justice can you get when the law is blind).

Commenting on the verdict, Nikam said, "We are happy that justice has been delivered.

This would send a strong message to terrorists that they would get such punishment if they indulged in barbarous acts." "Initially they had planted a bomb in a bus but since few people were killed, they decided to use powerful bombs on the instructions of L-e-T," Nikam said.

Nikam said Fehmida had played a major role in these bomb blasts.

She not only planted a bomb in a bus on July 28, 2003, along with her husband's friend Ashrat but also on August 25, 2003, she and her husband Hanif planted bombs in taxis at the Gateway of India.

"Fehmida had actively participated in the process of selection and approval of location of targets.

Though Fehmida was a woman she was equally cruel as other accused in the execution of conspiracy," Nikam said.


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