’93 Surat blasts:Ex-Congress Muslim minister gets 20 years jailOctober 04, 2008
’93 Surat blasts:Ex-Congress Muslim minister gets 20 years jail
Surat, DeshGujarat, 4 October, 2008
Former Congress Fisheries Minister of Gujarat Mohammad Surti and ten others were found guilty in 1993 Surat twin blast case by TADA court on Saturday. While Mohammad Surti along with four other convicts including former Congress corporator Iqbal Vadiwala received 20 year prison sentence, another six received 10 year prison sentence. In Varachha blast case 12 were sentenced while one rickshaw-driver Asif sheikh was given benefit of doubt and was acquitted. In Railway station blast case 7 were sentenced while 4 were acquitted. Total 21 persons were found guilty out of which five are absconding.
The special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) designated court judge R.B.Dholaria in his judgment ordered convicts to pay Rs 2 lakh to relatives of girl child who was killed in the blast while Rs 25,000 to all 11 people who were injured.
Twin grenade blasts were executed on Varachha road’s Mini Diamond market in January 1993 and Surat railway station in April 1993 by group of Muslims. The group had lobbed a Russian grenade at Gujarat Express stationed at Surat railway station platform no.1, injuring 38. Blast on Surat’s Varachha in January 1993 killed one girl child was and ijured several others.
According to police, a part of the arms cache smuggled into Mumbai for 1993 Mumbai blasts was diverted to Surat. Mohammad Surti had procured hand grenades from the late Ahmedabad don Abdul Latif for the bombings, the court said.
Four men accused in the station blast but still at large are listed on the Interpol red corner list as they are absconding. One of them is Farooque Surti(son of Mohammad Surti), who reportedly went to the extent of test firing AK-47 rifles and even exploded a grenade on the outskirts of Surat, before lobbing one at the passengers in the train. The others are Salim Lala, Hanif Tiger and Gajnabi alias Gajno.
They were involved in the conspiracy, transaction of cash and shipment of arms and ammunition into the city. While Farooque Surti is reportedly based in Pakistan, Gajnabi operates from Dubai, Hanif Tiger, last heard, and escaped to United Kingdom.
The Surat twin blasts case was traced after the city police arrested an accused Mushtaq Ibrahim Patel from Varachha in early March 1995. A drunken Patel claimed in public that he had caused the station blasts and helped Salim Chawal lob the grenade. A special action group (SAG) was formed to investigate the case. A chain of arrests followed since then, which led the police to unfold the mystery behind the blasts.
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