MUMBAI: The CBI today demanded death penalty for two more convicts, Tahir Merchant and Karimullah Khan, in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.
Special Public Prosecutor Deepak Salvi sought capital punishment for Tahir pointing out to the anti-terror court that the convict had developed a good "rapport" with Pakistani spy agency ISI and some Pakistani army officials and he was one of the "initiators" of plot for serial blasts.
Arguing over quantum of sentence for six convicts, Salvi had earlier demanded death for Mustafa Dossa and Firoz Khan.
Dossa died of cardiac arrest two days ago.
The prosecutor told the special TADA judge G A Sanap that following the post-Babri demolition riots in Mumbai, Merchant hatched a conspiracy with (absconding accused) Tiger Memon, and arranged visa, tickets and finance for sending men to Pakistan for arms training.
"Merchant's degree of culpability was highest in the offence and he played a pivotal role in hatching the conspiracy. He is one of the initiators of the conspiracy," Salvi said.
On criminal antecedents of Merchant, Salvi said he had a counterfeit currency case registered against him in Kochi, and had a good "rapport" with some officials of the Pakistani army as well as the ISI.
Tiger Memon had entrusted the responsibility of arranging landing of arms and ammunition to Karimullah, who also helped one of the co-conspirators to travel to Pakistan for arms training, Salvi said.
The family members of the blasts victims were waiting for justice for the last 24 years, he said.
The TADA court on June 16 had convicted six accused including Dossa and the extradited gangster Abu Salem for murder, conspiracy and offences under the (now repealed) Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act. Riyaz Siddiqui was convicted only under TADA, while Abdul Quayyum was acquitted.
As many as 257 people were killed in the coordinated blasts that ripped through the city on March 12, 1993.
In the earlier trial, the court had convicted one hundred accused. The trial of these seven men was separated as they were arrested later.