Hyderabad, Sept 10, 2018 : A Hyderabad court on Monday awarded death sentence to two men convicted in the Hyderabad twin blasts case of August 2007 which killed 44 people and injured over 50 others.
Second Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge T Srinivasa Rao, at a special courtroom set up in Cherlapally Central Prison, sentenced the first two accused – Mohammed Akbar Ismail Chowdhari (A-1) and Aneeq Shafique Sayeed (A-2) to death by hanging for their involvement in the twin blasts.
Another accused Mohammad Tareeq Anjum who allegedly gave shelter to the first two accused in Delhi after carrying out the bombing was also convicted in the case in the morning and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Two other accused –Mohammad Sadiq Israr and Farooq Sharfuddin Tarkash were acquitted for want of evidence, public prosecutor K Surender told media soon after the judgement was pronounced.
On September 4, the judge convicted the first two accused and kept in abeyance the verdict on the third accused. “The convicted can appeal in the higher court challenging this judgement,” the public prosecutor said.
Aneeq’s lawyer Gandam Gurumurthy said they would move the high court against the sentence. “This is a very weak judgement. We will appeal in High Court against this,” Gurumurthy said.
The Counter Intelligence (CI) wing of the Telangana police which investigated the case, arrested five accused, all owing allegiance to the banned Indian Mujahideen (IM) in 2010. A total of eight people were charge-sheeted in the case. The remaining three accused – Riyaz Bhatal, Iqbal Bhatkal and Amir Riza Khan are still absconding.
The bomb explosions at Gokul Chat Bhandar, a popular eatery in Koti area and Lumbini Park, a recreation centre in front of the state secretariat on August 25, 2007. While 34 people died at Gokul Chat bomb blast, 10 others were killed in the explosion at Lumbini Park, which took place a few minutes later.
The accused were charged under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 16 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, besides other relevant provisions of the Explosive Substances Act in connection with the twin blasts and also with regard to seizure of an unexploded bomb that was found under a foot overbridge at Dilsuknagar area.
The Hyderabad police had, in all, filed three charge-sheets running into over 1100 pages. Nearly 170 witnesses were examined and cross-examined during the trial.
The judgement came as a big relief to families of victims and the injured. “Justice has been done at last. We have been undergoing mental trauma for the last 11 years. We want the judgement be implemented at the earliest. The accused cannot get away in the name of appealing in the higher courts,” says G Vasantha, mother of 34-year old G Sadashiva Reddy, who sustained multiple pellet injuries in the explosion at Gokul Chat that left him paralysed and confined to bed.
Joshi Narasimha Sharma, whose 20-year old daughter Pratyusha was killed in the same blast, expressed happiness over the verdict. “I am happy that at least some justice has been done to us after 11 years. The convicted should be hanged instantly and they should not be given any opportunity to make an appeal to the higher courts. Only then, my daughter’s soul will rest in peace and we get some relief our old souls,” Sharma said.
R Chander Naik (30), a survivor of the bombing at Gokul Chat Bhandar said the victims have got only partial justice after 11 long years. “The other culprits who are absconding should also be brought to book and given the death sentence,” he said.