New Delhi: Announcing the quantum of punishment in 2013 Dilsukhnagar blasts, which had claimed 18 lives, a special NIA court in Hyderabad on Monday said that all the five convicts including Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal will be hanged.
Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman and 3 others were awarded death penalty by special NIA court in Hyderabad on Monday.
Pronouncing the sentence, Judge T Srinivasa Rao described the case as the "rarest of the rare".
NIA Special Public Prosecutor K Surender said the court, after going through their evidence, found that the case is based on facts.
Earlier on Dec 13, in the first ever conviction of banned Indian Mujahideen cadres in a terror case, a special NIA court in Hyderabad had convicted Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and four others for being involved in 2013 twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar which had claimed 18 lives.
The NIA special court convicted Bhatkal and others under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Besides Bhatkal, the others convicted were Asadullah Akthar of Uttar Pradesh, Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas of Pakistan, Tahseen Akhthar of Bihar and Aizaz Shaik of Maharashtra. All of them are in judicial custody.
Key conspirator on the loose
The alleged key conspirator Riyaz Bhatkal, believed to be operating from Karachi, is still at large.
The final arguments in the case concerning the attack, carried out on February 21, 2013 in which 18 people were killed and 131 injured others, concluded last month during which 157 witnesses were examined. Trial in the case had begun on August 24 last year.
An elated Director General of NIA Sharad Kumar said "it was a wonderful investigation carried out by the team in which every evidence was examined minutely. This is the first ever conviction of Indian Mujahideen cadres."
"We will be appealing for maximum punishment for the culprits," Kumar said.
In its charge sheet, the NIA had claimed that Indian Mujahideen had hatched a conspiracy to wage a war against India and decided to carry out bomb blasts in Hyderabad to create terror in the minds of people and further the activities of the outfit.
The main operative of the module, Riyaz Bhatkal, who is named as the first accused in the case, had allegedly directed his associates Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas to find a place in Mangalore to be used as a hide-out for explosive materials sent by him, it had alleged.
The twin blasts in Dilsukhnagar area on February 21, 2013, killed 18 persons, including one unborn child in mother's womb, and injured 131 others.