Mumbai: Twenty five convicts in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case surrendered Thursday before a designated TADA court in keeping with the Supreme Court order upholding their conviction and dismissing their appeals.
Eleven others had surrendered before the same Court yesterday. Eight more convicts, including actor Sanjay Dutt, have been given time by the Supreme Court to return to jail to serve the remaining period of sentence.
The 25 convicts who surrendered today were those who were found guilty of possessing arms, attending conspiracy meetings and facilitating landing of arms, ammunitions and RDX at Shekhadi coast in Raigad district which was allegedly sent from Pakistan by absconding accused Tiger Memon.
All the convicts face an imprisonment ranging from 5 years to 10 years with several of them having undergone over four years in jail during the trial period.
The convicts surrendered before special TADA Judge G A Sanap who directed police to take them to Central prison at Arthur Road in Central Mumbai. The convicts would later be transferred to various central prisons across the state.
The judge said the court would wait till Saturday to see if any more convicts will surrender. "If not, we will issue arrest warrant," the court said.
Two convicts, Mohammad Kasam Lajpuria alias Mechanic Chacha, who was wheel chair bound, and Tulsiram Surve, who has suffered a paralytic attack, were allowed to take their medicines inside jail.
Family members of many convicts had accompanied them to the court today.
Asked why they did not approach the Supreme Court like some of their co-accused to seek time to surrender, convicts Noor Mohammad Haji Mohammad Khan and Ibrahim Baba Moosa Chauhan said "we are not celebrities.. Today or after a month, we have to surrender one day. It is better to surrender today and spend that one month in jail praying to Allah."
Khan, whose son is a solicitor in a law firm, added grave injustice had been done to some of his co-accused.
"There are some accused who have been sentenced to ten years jail for possessing a pistol in a notified area. But another accused who possessed AK 56 rifle and hand grenades was given just five years. Why this difference ?" the convict said hinting at actor Sanjay Dutt.
The convicts who surrendered today included Salim
Durani, a member of the family of Nawab of Tonk in Rajasthan, Uttam Potdar, Tulsiram Surve, Ghulam Hafiz Shaikh, Farooq Motorwala, Yusuf Khan, Sulieman Kasam, Shanawaz Khan, Mujib Sharif Parkar, Asif Yusuf Shaikh, Shaikh Aziz Ahmed, Mohammad Dawood Yusuf Khan, Mohammad Sayed Ishaq, Sayed Abdul Rehman Shaikh, Shahjahan Hajwane, Sikandar Hajwane, Ayub Qureshi, Ehsan Tuffel Qureshi, Mohammad Usman Shiakh, Liyakat Khan and Suleman Ghavate.
On March 12, 1993, 13 blasts had rocked various parts of the city killing 257 persons and injuring over 700 others.