Advocates K Surender and Chella Seshu Reddy briefing newsmen about twin bomb blast verdict at Cherlapalli prison on Tuesday | S Senbagapandiyan
HYDERABAD: Eleven years after a twin blast at Gokul Chat bhandar and Lumbini Park rocked the city killing 43 and leaving over 70 injured, a special court on Tuesday pronounced two of the five accused guilty; two others have been acquitted. The quantum of punishment will be declared during the next hearing on Monday, when a judgment would also be delivered on the charges framed against the fifth accused.
Three others, including the alleged mastermind and founder of Indian Mujahideen, are still absconding. The fifth accused, who is awaiting judgement, is facing charges of sheltering the accused before and after the blasts took place. The matter was postponed as the judgement could not be prepared.
On Tuesday, all five accused -- Anique Shafique Sayeed, Mohd Akbar Ismail Chowdhari, Farookh Sharfuddin Tarkash, Sadiq Israr Ahmed Sheikh and Mohammed Taariq Anjum Ahsan -- were produced before the judge in the court hall at Cherlapally Central Prison. Delivering the judgment, in-charge judge T Srinivas Rao acquitted all four of them of charges framed under Section 20 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, for being member of terrorist gang or organisation.
“The charges levelled against the two convicted accused were proved by the prosecution and we will argue for capital punishment for them,” said Special Public Prosecutor and Counsel for Counter Intelligence (CI) Cell of State Police Challa Seshu Reddy. Two others were acquitted as there was not enough evidence against them, said K Surender, Public Prosecutor and another counsel for the CI Cell.
“After going through the judgment, we will decide on further course of action against the acquitted persons,” he said. The defence counsel for the accused who were convicted also said that after going through the judgment copy, they will approach the High Court. “How can the court find two guilty and acquit two others when charges filed against them are the same?” asked Andham Gurumurthy, counsel for Anique Shafique Sayeed.
The judgment evoked mixed reaction from the blast victims. While they were happy with the conviction of two persons, the acquittal of two others left them confused. “Considering that there have been many lives lost in the deadly blast, I thought that everyone would get capital punishment. No one should dare to commit this kind of a heinous crime again,” said B Anjaiah, who lost his daughter along with two other relatives in the blast.
Verdict on 5th accused on Sept 10