NIA court jails 4 IM terrorists for 10 years over multiple explosions, including Hyderabad twin blasts

Hyderabad was rocked by twin blasts on two occasions: 2007 and 2013. At least 60 people were killed and over 180 were injured.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Jul 13, 2023 | 7:06 PMUpdatedJul 13, 2023 | 7:08 PM

Four IM terrorists sent to 10 years prison by NIA for multiple explosions, including Hyderabad twin blasts

In a significant development, the NIA Special Court in New Delhi handed a 10-year prison sentence to four individuals implicated in the Indian Mujahideen (IM) conspiracy case.

The case pertains to a plot devised by Pakistan-backed terrorist Riyaz Bhatkal and IM founder Yasin Bhatkal intending to carry out bomb blasts across India.

The four convicted accused, who were in touch with both the Bhatkals, have been identified as Danish Ansari from Darbhanga in Bihar, Aftab Alam from the Purnia district of Bihar, Imran Khan from the Nanded district of Maharashtra, and Obaid-Ur-Rehman from Hyderabad in Telangana.

Also read: NIA files charge sheet in the Hyderabad terror recruitment case

Hyderabad blasts

The four convicts are said to have played an active role in conducting reconnaissance of key locations such as Hyderabad and Delhi. They were also involved in the procurement of explosives, as well as arms and ammunition.

In 2007 in Hyderabad, the first bomb exploded in Lumbini Amusement Park and the second at Gokul Chaat Bhandar Koti, a popular restaurant about 5 kilometres away, within a period of five minutes. At least 42 people reportedly died while over 50 were injured.

A day after the blasts, the police discovered 19 unexploded bombs across Hyderabad at bus stops, cinemas, road junctions, and other places. Most of the explosives were fitted with timers and placed in plastic bags.

In 2013, the first blast exploded outside a roadside eatery named A1 Mirchi at Dilsukhnagar opposite the Konark movie hall.

It was followed by the second bomb — nearly 100 metres apart and two minutes later — near the Route 107 bus stand close to the Venkatadri theatre.

As per reports, 18 people were killed in the twin blasts and over 130 were left injured.

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Involved in multiple blasts

The NIA said that the convicted were found to be closely associated with IM members, including the key accused Riyaz Bhatkal and Yasin Bhatkal, who are based in Pakistan and India, respectively.

As per the NIA, the actions of the convicted were part of a broader conspiracy orchestrated by the members of the IM.

The series of attacks attributed to the IM included the Hyderabad twin blasts in August 2007, the Varanasi blasts in March 2006, the Mumbai serial blasts in July 2006, and the UP serial blasts in Varanasi, Faizabad, and Lucknow in November 2007.

The court also found them guilty in the Jaipur, Delhi, and Ahmedabad serial blasts of 2008.

The NIA said the IM was also found to be behind the Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Bengaluru in 2010 and the Hyderabad twin blasts in 2013.

Also read: Court orders framing of charges against Yasin Bhatkal, Danish Ansari

Trial continues for 5

The accused were arrested between January and March 2013 and have now been sentenced under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The NIA court also levied fines of ₹2,000 on Danish Ansari along with 10 years of rigorous imprisonment as he was not involved in any other criminal offence and studied till Class 12. The court also imposed a fine of ₹10,000 on Aftab Alam.

On 31 March this year, the NIA Special Court framed charges against the four convicted individuals and seven others involved in the case.

The trial continues for Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar, Zia-Ur-Rehman, Tehsin Akhter, and Hyder Ali, who are also linked to the conspiracy.

“The sentencing of the four individuals sends a strong message about India’s commitment to combating terrorism and ensuring the safety and security of its citizens,” the NIA said.

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