HC upholds life term to 11, including Pakistani, in blasts case

mumbaiblastMUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today upheld the life sentence awarded to 11 persons including a Pakistani national in a case related to 1998 serial blasts in the city.

The division bench of Justices P V Hardas and Revati Dere upheld the lower court’s verdict.

According to the prosecution, the conspiracy was hatched in December 1997 at the behest of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence.

Blasts took place at Kanjurmarg station, near Virar station, on railway tracks between Goregaon and Malad, near Santa Cruz railway station and on platform number 2 at Kandivali railway station between January 23 and February 27, 1998. In all, four persons were killed while 30 were injured.

Additional public prosecutor, Jayesh Yagnik, argued in the High Court that the same type of explosives were used in the five blasts, so they were not isolated, but a part of conspiracy.

The trial court, on June 29, 2004, had convicted Pakistani national Javed Gulam Hussain, along with Aftab Sayeed, Asgar Kadar Shaikh, Kadeer Mohammed Shafi, Khalid Ansari, Shabeer Basheer Chavan, Jaffar Shaikh, Mohammed Chauhan, Ashfaque Shaikh, Farooque Yusuf Shaikh and Aftab Shaikh.

Another Pakistani national was acquitted due to lack of evidence and was deported back to Pakistan after the trial.

The defense argued that there was no evidence to show that the serial blasts were part of a conspiracy. -PTI

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