The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court in Hyderabad on Monday sentenced five operatives of Indian Mujahideen (IM) to death in the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case.
Last week, Asadullah Akthar alias Haddi, Zia Ur Rahman alias Waqas, Mohammed Tahseen Akthar alias Hassan, Ahmed Siddibappa Zarrar alias Yasin Bhatkal and Ajaz Shaikh — were held guilty for the February 21, 2013 blasts in Hyderabad.
The first accused, Mohammed Riyaz alias Riyaz Bhatkal, is at large.
Right from this morning, suspense continued on the quantum of punishment that was likely to be awarded. At around 4.45 pm, the Special court judge pronounced the judgement awarding death penalty to all the five accused.
Interestingly, the defence advocate did not turn up nor were the family members of the five seen anywhere near the Cherlapalli Central Prison.
NIA prosecutor Surender, citing judgement of different courts presented to the Judge that convicts should be given death sentence. He said the Constitution has given right to life to the civilians but the five convicts killed 18 persons by detonating explosive devised at Dilsukhnagar and hence should be awarded highest punishment.
The Special Court, operating from the Charlapalli central prison, recently convicted the quintet under different Sections of the Indian Penal Code and some Special Acts.
The IM members detonated two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) almost simultaneously near the bustling Dilsukhnagar bus stop, killing 21 people and injuring 107.
The first IED blew up around 7 p.m. near 107 bus stop. Even as horrified people ran helter skelter in the chaos that followed, another bomb went off near A1 Mirchi centre, a stone’s throw away.
The first blast was under the Malakpet police station area of Hyderabad Commissionerate and the second under the Saroornagar police station of Cyberabad (now Rachakonda) Commissionerate. Two separate cases were registered.
Investigators were initially clueless and the cases were transferred to the NIA. The first important lead came in the form of video footage recorded by a traffic surveillance camera and a private camera in a shop.
One member of the group was seen coming to the bus stop on a bicycle with a tiffin box on the carrier, and investigators continued to identify operatives who planted bombs in similar fashion at public places.
Meanwhile, intelligence agencies caught Ahmed Siddibappa Zarrar and Asadullah Akthar at the India-Nepal border in August 2013.
The duo reportedly admitted to interrogators that they were responsible for the blasts, and were complicit in other terror cases.