HYDERABAD -- Five senior operatives of banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen on Monday awarded death penalty by a special NIA court in the February 2013 Hyderabad blasts case.
This is the first case that any operative of the IM has been convicted.
On 13 December, the court convicted the five members, including IM co-founder Mohd Ahmed Sidibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Tahaseen Akhtar alias Monu and Ajaz Shaikh, who are at present in judicial custody and lodged in the Cherlapally Central Prison in Hyderabad.
Eighteen people were killed and 131 injured in two deadly explosions in Dilsukhnagar, a crowded shopping area in the city, on 21 February, 2013.
On 7 November, the final arguments had concluded in the case before the NIA special court.
Since IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal, the prime accused in the case, is absconding, the trial was split up against him.
The court convicted Yasin Bhatkal and others under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The NIA special court, after hearing the defence and prosecution's arguments, pronounced the quantum of sentence.
According to NIA, Riyaz Bhatkal arranged for explosive substances and directed Asadullah Akhtar and Zia-ur-Rahman at Mangalore to receive the same.
After receiving the explosive materials and the money sent by Riyaz through hawala and money transfer channels, Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas reached Hyderabad and joined Tahseen Akhtar, who was already hiding there, it had said.
Together they prepared two IEDs after procuring the other required materials as well as two cycles for mounting the IEDs from Hyderabad, the agency had said.
After preparation of the IEDs on 21 February, 2013, the accused mounted two bombs on two bicycles. They had planted them in two separate places in Dilsukhnagar which resulted in powerful explosions, it had said.
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