Five sentenced to death in Dilsukhnagar blasts case

The brain Riyaz Bhatkal still absconding

Hyderabad: For the first time in the country’s history, five Indian Mujahedeen members involved in terrorist activities were sentenced to death on Monday in connection with the twin bomb blasts in the crowded Dilsukhnagar area in Hyderabad on February 21, 2013 in which 19 people were killed and 138 injured.

The Special Court of National Investigation Agency (NIA) pronounced its judgment in the sensational case which had attracted nation-wide attention following the dastardly act in the city three-and-a-half years ago. However, the main accused in the attack, Riyaz Bhatkal, considered to be the brain behind the blasts, is still absconding and stated to be hiding in Pakistan. A red alert has been pending pending for his arrest.

Those who were sentenced to death on Monday were Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar, Eizaj, Wakab and Zia-ul-Rehman. The NIA investigated and filed the charge-sheet against the accused in the Special Court, which on December 13, 2016, found them guilty of the charges and reserved its quantum of sentence. The court sentenced the five accused under IPC Sections 120 B, 121, 121A, 122, 307, 316, 318, 436, 466, 474 and so on. While pronouncing the sentence, the court also declared that adequate compensation should be paid to the families of the victims.

It may be recalled that the accused IM terrorists had planned to target crowded areas in the city. Accordingly, the plan was said to have been prepared by Riyaz Bhatkal in Bengaluru and then the accused moved into the city for selecting the target. After zeroing in on Dilsukhnagar, which is a hub for a number of educational institutions, especially in the IT sector, the accused rented a house in the area to put their plan into action.

Accordingly, after assembling the detonators and fixing them in pressure cookers, the accused planted the ‘explosive devices’ at two places in close proximity on bicycles. In fact, senior police officials, including then Commissioner of Police Anurag Sharma had a close shave as the blast occurred within minutes after he emerged from Saibaba temple nearby. The two blasts, which took place in a span of minutes, claimed 19 lives and injured 138.

The twin blasts had caused a sensation nation-wide and turned out to be a test for the Hyderabad police to nab those behind this heinous act. After the arrest of the five accused and subsequent prosecution, the police presented 150 witnesses and scores of material evidence to bring home the guilt of the accused. At last, the efforts of the NIA to bring to justice all those involved in the terrorist act paid off with the court sentencing them to death. The accused, however, have an opportunity to appeal against the judgment in the higher courts. –NSS

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