Mumbai blasts case: Abu Salem pleads not to be kept in solitary confinement

Abu Salem, who was convicted under various provisions in the Mumbai blasts case, today requested the special TADA court not to keep him in solitary confinement, citing grave threats to his life. 

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Sep 07, 2017, 15:26 PM IST
Mumbai blasts case: Abu Salem pleads not to be kept in solitary confinement

Mumbai: The TADA court on Thursday sentenced gangster Abu Salem and Karimulla Khan to life and imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh each in 1993 Bombay blasts case. Convicts Taher Merchant and Feroz Khan were awarded death sentence in the attacks. Riyaz Siddiqui was been sentenced to 10 years.

Abun Salem, who was convicted under various provisions in the case, escaped capital punishment due to an extradition treaty existing between the Portugal and India.

Through his lawyer, Salem also requested the special TADA court not to keep him in solitary confinement, citing grave threats to his life. 

Salem pleaded before the court that since he had been attacked inside the jail by his rivals at several occasions in past, he should not be kept in solitary confinement.

Abu Salem filed an application in the special TADA Court seeking jail transfer to Delhi so that he can attend pending proceedings there.

Salem also sought court's permission for registration of his marriage with a woman he is believed to have married secretly.

According to a report published in a local tabloid in 2015, Abu Salem had married a woman ‘over phone’ during a train journey when he was being taken to Lucknow for a court hearing under police escort.

Salem had earlier requested a Mumbai court to grant him the permission to attend the office of the Registrar of Marriage.

The dreaded underworld don had also submitted citations of two high courts claiming convicts were given such relief for entering into wedlock.

Why Abu Salem escaped Death Sentence? 

Abu Salem, one of the prime accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, was found guilty of transporting the weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai. But why Abu Salem wasn’t given death sentence in the 1993 Bombay blasts case?

Abu Salem was arrested in Lisbon, Portugal along with his then girlfriend and former actress Monica Bedi on September 20 in 2002. After two years, a Portugal court cleared his extradition to India, to face trial in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case, and handed him over on the assurance that a death sentence would not be handed out to him.

The extradition treaty was signed between the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva which said that Salem would not be given a death sentence or life imprisonment beyond 25 years.

Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam confirmed that owing to an extradition treaty between Portugal and India, Salem cannot be given death or a jail term of more than 25 years.

As per the extradition treaty, Abu Salem cannot be given life imprisonment beyond 25 years, out of which Salem has already completed 12. Both Salvi and Nikam claimed that it is now up to the Indian government to commute Salem’s term to 25 years. If the jail sentence is commuted to 25 years then Salem will spend 13 more years in jail as he has already been in prison for 12 years.

Rise of Gangster Abu Salem

Abu Salem, alias Abdul Saleem Ansari was born to a lawyer father in Saria Meer in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. Salem is believed to have come to Delhi and started his career as a taxi driver. He then moved to Mumbai in the mid-1980s and started off as a petty criminal during his stint at a telephone booth in Andheri.

During this time, he came in contact with Dawood Ibrahim’s younger brother, Anees. Salem soon rose up the ladder and became a part of the D-gang.

A series of 12 blasts rocked Mumbai on March 12, 1993, killing 257 people and injuring 713 others.

The blasts took place at Bombay Stock Exchange, Katha Bazaar, Lucky petrol pump near Sena Bhavan, opposite Passport office near Century Bazaar, Fishermen’s colony at Mahim Causeway, at basement of Air India Building, Zaveri Bazaar, Hotel Sea Rock, Plaza Theatre, Centaur Hotel (Juhu), Sahar Airport (Bay no.54) and Centaur Hotel (near airport).