Mumbai: The ten convicts found guilty in the multiple blasts that rocked the city between 2002 and 2003, on Wednesday pleaded for leniency before a special POTA court and sought minimum sentence.
A special court had yesterday convicted 10 out of the 13 accused in connection with the multiple blasts that had claimed the lives of 13 people.
Key accused and alleged SIMI member Saquib Nachan today told special judge P R Deshmukh that he had surrendered before the police on his own following the direction of the Bombay High Court.
"A bomb blaster will never do so. I have undergone eight years in jail. Since June 2005 till today, I have been appearing before this court," he said, adding that for the past two years, he has been unable to attend other court, which is hearing a similar case.
Nachan also said that he has suffered for the past ten years (due to the case). "This terror attack has cost us very heavily from 2003," he said, adding that at the time of his arrest he had three kids and now he is a grandfather.
Nachan also said his sons have suffered a lot as they were referred to as "son of a terrorist". "Education of two sons had to be curtailed and the emotional hurt caused is irreversible," he said.
He said that his father, who expired last month, had taken him to the high court and made him surrender.
"He asked me just one question 'Tumne blast kiya kya?' (were you involved in blasts?), to which I replied in the negative," Nachan told the court.
He said he has advised other accused to view the court verdict "positively".
Another accused, Muzammil Ansari, told the court that he has been falsely implicated and he respects the verdict of this court.
Ansari also said he had to take the responsibility of his family from a very young age.
"During the course of investigation, I was illegally detained and tortured. It was the most difficult period of my life," Ansari said, adding many witnesses deposed against him falsely.
Another accused Anwar Ali said after his arrest he was sacked from his job at the National Defence Academy (NDA).
In a combined charge sheet filed against 15 accused in the Mulund, Vile Parle and Mumbai Central blast cases, police had charged them with offences under POTA, the Explosive Substances Act and preparation to wage war against the nation and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code.