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Mumbai blasts: 5 cops convicted
Facilitated transportation of arms
Tribune News Service and PTI

Mumbai, September 26
A sacked sub-inspector of the Maharashtra Police and four constables under his charge have been found guilty in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

The special TADA court which is in the process of reading out the verdict in the case found Vijay Krishnaji Patil guilty in the case. At that time, Patil was a sub-inspector at the Shrivardhan police station in Raigad district, the area where Tiger Memon landed his consignment of RDX.

Designated Judge P.D. Kode found Patil guilty on two counts — conspiracy and landing of arms and explosives. He was convicted under Section 120-B of the IPC (conspiracy) and Section 3(3) of TADA (P) Act (aiding and abetting a terrorist act).

Constables A.N. Muneshwar, P.M. Mahadik, R.D. Mali and S.Y. Pashilkar, were also found guilty in the case.

However, constables K.S. Mokal, K.T. Pingle, and M.M. More were acquitted as their exact role in the case could not be established.

All those convicted had facilitated transportation of arms and explosives used in the March 12, 1993, blasts from Raigad to Mumbai in consideration for a bribe of Rs 7 lakh.

This is the first ever conviction of law enforcers arrested in the case. Others in the dock include customs officials.

Delivering the verdict, the judge observed that Patil was held guilty for conspiracy as he had cleared an arms-laden truck at Ghondgar check-post in Raigad.

All those convicted face imprisonment ranging from five years to life.

The court accepted the evidence adduced by the CBI that the five policemen had accepted Rs 7 lakh to allow transportation of explosives.

The court also accepted the evidence showing that Rs 59,000 was recovered from constable Mahadik and that the amount was part of the bribe offered to the policemen by co-accused.

The judge also took into consideration a confession of an accused that implicated constable R.D. Mali though the CBI was not able to prove that he was present in the batch of eight, who had allowed the passage of arms and explosives.

The court, however, did not accept the defence of Patil that the truck was carrying silver bricks and weapons, if any, were not visible.

The CBI had said that Patil had negotiated the deal of transportation of weapons by seeking a bribe of Rs 7 lakh and kept a silver brick in his possession for a day as the accused did not have the money to pay at that point of time. He returned the silver brick after the bribe was paid the following day.

Acquitting three other constables, the court said it was a clear case of acquittal and no benefit of doubt was given to them. Their role could not be established by the prosecution, the judge added.

Patil appeared to be tense and kept his head down while the judge was delivering the verdict.

The verdict assumes significance as the CBI has contended in the chargesheet that arms and explosives were smuggled from Pakistan and ferried to Shekhadi coast on January 9, 1993, prior to the serial blasts.

Patil and four others were taken into custody today after they were pronounced guilty and their bail bonds were cancelled.



Convict shouts in court

Mumbai, September 26
A person, convicted of involvement in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, today started shouting in a TADA court here, alleging he was being wrongly punished, while the second refused to record his statement on the quantum of sentence, saying he was not well.

Nasim Barmare, found guilty yesterday of lobbing hand-grenades at Sahar International Airport here on March 12, 1993, when serial bomb blasts in the city killed 257 persons, started shouting in the court of Mr Pramod Kode, alleging that he was being wrongly punished. The grenades had not exploded and hence nobody was hurt in the crime, he contended.

After the angry outburst, Barmare, with folded hands, pleaded he should be pardoned for shouting in the court, and prayed for a lesser punishment, so that he could take care of his aged mother.

He implored the court to take into consideration more than 13 years he had spent in jail, while deciding quantum of his punishment.

Mohammed Iqbal Shaikh, found guilty of obtaining arms training in the adjoining Raigad district, loading RDX in vehicles parked at various targets, and planting an RDX-laden scooter in Naigaum in Dadar that did not explode, refused to record his statement, saying that he was not well. — UNI



Maharashtra plans polyglot police
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, September 26
With terrorism assuming multi-national and multi-cultural dimensions, the Marathi-speaking police in Maharashtra is left speechless as terrorists converse in a babel of tongues.

Investigators probing the July 11 bomb blasts in trains here found to their dismay that the suspects they were tracking spoke in Bengali, Urdu and Arabic. Sources say Bengali-speaking police personnel, tasked with ferreting out Bangladeshis in Mumbai, and Muslim police officers were hastily brought in to transcribe the recorded conversation among the terrorists who carried out the blasts.

Now Maharashtra’s top policemen want a polyglot police force, conversant with a number of languages, including Tamil, Farsi, Arabic and every other language spoken by terrorist groups, as they actively prepare to infiltrate terror networks.



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