A special NIA court in Hyderabad has awarded death penalty to all the five convicts, including Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, in the 2013 twin blasts that claimed 18 lives in Hyderabad's Dilkushnagar.
Announcing the judgement on the in 2013 twin blasts, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court operating from the Charlapally Central jail in Hyderabad on Monday ordered Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman and 3 others to be hanged to death.
The special NIA court had, on 13 December, convicted Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and the four others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
In the first ever conviction of the cadres of the banned Indian Mujahideen terrorist outfit, the NIA also convicted Asadullah Akthar of Uttar Pradesh, Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas of Pakistan, Tahseen Akhthar of Bihar and Aizaz Shaik of Maharashtra. All of them are in judicial custody.
The main operative of the module, Riyaz Bhatkal, brother of Yasin Bhatkal, who is named as the first accused in the case, believed to be operating from Karachi, is still at large.
The IM members almost simultaneously detonated two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) near the Dilsukhnagar bus stop on February 21, 2013, killing 21 and injuring 107.
The final arguments in the case concerning the attack, carried out on 21 February 2013, in which 18 people were killed and 131 others were injured, concluded last month during which 157 witnesses were examined. Trial in the case began on 24 August last year.
An elated Director General of NIA Sharad Kumar said, "it was a wonderful investigation carried out by the team in which every evidence was examined minutely. This is the first ever conviction of Indian Mujahideen cadres."
In its charge sheet, the NIA had claimed that Indian Mujahideen had hatched a conspiracy to wage a war against India and decided to carry out bomb blasts in Hyderabad to create terror in the minds of people and further the activities of the outfit.
The main operative of the module, Riyaz Bhatkal, who is named as the first accused in the case, had allegedly directed his associates Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas to find a place in Mangalore to be used as a hide-out for explosive materials sent by him, it had alleged.