Pair found guilty of killing 10 in ’93 Mumbai blasts

Mumbai, September 18 :

A court today convicted two Muslim men for murdering 10 people in a bombing outside a Mumbai cinema during ‘Black Friday’ 13 years ago when 257 were killed in India’s worst terrorist attack.

Asgar Yusuf Mukadam and Shahnawaz Qureshi parked a van packed with explosives set to go off outside the cinema during a two-hour city-wide blitz in the western economic

capital in 1993.

Seven people have now been convicted over the attacks, including three alleged bombers, with verdicts for the rest of the 123 defendants expected in the coming weeks. Three people have been acquitted.

Prosecutors said today’s verdicts proved for the first time that a bomber had received training at a camp in Pakistan, where Qureshi had been sent by the alleged plot leaders.

The bomb and grenade attacks on March 12, 1993, were allegedly on the orders of Mumbai’s Muslim-dominated underworld in retaliation for nationwide Hindu-Muslim riots several months earlier that left hundreds dead.

“The court has held two accused... guilty for causing bomb explosions at the Plaza cinema theatre,” prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told reporters outside the court. “It is a very important verdict... Qureshi had gone to Pakistan and received training in how to cause terrorist explosions.

“According to me, this is the first judicial finding which shows that logistical support was received from Pakistani training camps.

“The Plaza cinema is an extremely popular cinema in Mumbai and a landmark in the city which is why I’m happy that the court has viewed it seriously.” Mukadam, a former manager for the key plotter and fugitive Ibrahim ‘Tiger’ Memon, was arrested two days after the attacks that also wounded more than 700 people.