Mumbai blasts convict Abu Salem may not spend entire life in jail

TADA court to pronounce quantum of sentence in 1993 Mumbai blast case today

Tahir Merchant and Firoz Khan were sentenced to death, while Riyaz Siddiqui was given 10 years' rigorous imprisonment.

An Indian court sentenced two convicts to death Thursday (Sep 7) in connection with the country's deadliest bombings, a series of blasts that rocked Mumbai two decades ago and claimed more than 250 lives.

The court had concluded hearing on the quantum of punishment on 10 August.

Here is a brief insight into what roles did the five convicts - Abu Salem, Karimullah Khan, Tahir Merchant, Firoz Khan and Riyaz Siddhiqui - play in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts that killed 257 people and left over 750 injured. However, Dossa, one of the masterminds of the conspiracy (apart from absconding accused Dawood Ibrahim, Tiger Memon and others) died of cardiac arrest on 28 June.

All the accused were facing multiple charges like criminal conspiracy, waging war against the government and murder of people.

While CBI special public prosecutor Deepak Salvi sought the death sentence for Merchant, Feroze and Karimullah, he pressed for life sentences against Salem and Merchant.

The court has given the death sentence for the two accused in the Mumbai 1993 blast.

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

"The maximum sentence is the death sentence but this man can not be awarded the death sentence". If the SC confirms the death sentence, they can go to the President with a mercy plea. As a result of that trial, Yakub Memon, brother of Tiger Memon, was found guilty and hanged in July 2015.

Speaking to CNN affiliate News 18, OP Chatwal, the man who led the Central Bureau of Investigation team that brought Salem back from Lisbon, said that the death penalty exemption was essential to securing his extradition.

Investigators said the bombs were ordered by India's most wanted man, gangster Dawood Ibrahim, to avenge the demolition of the historic Babri mosque in north India by Hindu hardliners in 1992, during a period of religious conflict. "My uncle (Abu Salem) was extradited from Portugal in 2005 after giving an undertaking to the authorities he will not be awarded capital punishment and life imprisonment after trial in India".

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