News / Asia

India’s Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence in Deadliest Attack

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt arrives on the green carpet for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Colombo. (File 2010)Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt arrives on the green carpet for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Colombo. (File 2010)
x
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt arrives on the green carpet for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Colombo. (File 2010)
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt arrives on the green carpet for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Colombo. (File 2010)
Anjana Pasricha
India’s Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of a person who masterminded the country’s deadliest terror strike in Mumbai, 20 years ago, and ordered a popular Bollywood star back to jail, in connection with the attack. The court also criticized Pakistan for training and arming the terrorists who carried out the serial bomb blasts, which killed 257 people.       

Calling him one of the architects of the blasts which devastated Mumbai in 1993, the Supreme Court confirmed Thursday the death sentence handed down to Yakub Memon by an anti-terror court in 2007.

The death sentences of 10 others were reduced to life imprisonment.

The blasts were carried out in retaliation for the razing of a mosque by Hindu fundamentalists in northern India in 1992.

Serial bomb blasts

They were the deadliest to hit Mumbai, a city that has been wracked with terror several times. The terrorists used vehicles packed with explosives to carry out a dozen coordinated blasts in the city at some of its busiest spots, such as the Stock Exchange, a cinema and two crowded markets. About 257 people died and more than 700 others were injured.  

The Supreme Court says that Pakistan’s complicity in the attacks cannot be denied, and that the terrorists who carried out the blasts were armed and trained by India’s neighbor. It observed that Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, was involved in the blasts.

Chief Public Prosecutor in Mumbai Ujjwal Nikam welcomed the verdict. “This decision would give strong message across the border and also to those such terrorists who are still hiding in Pakistan.”

Implicating Islamabad, ISI

In the past, Indian authorities have also blamed Islamabad for its role in the blasts and say one of the masterminds of the attack lives in Pakistan.  However, Pakistan  strongly denies Indian accusations of training and arming militants to carry out attacks in India.

Thursday’s court verdict also got much attention because it involved a popular Bollywood star. The court upheld the conviction of actor Sanjay Dutt for illegal possession of weapons, which he bought from the bombers. The actor said he bought them to defend his family during deadly sectarian rioting that convulsed the city before the blasts.

However, Dutt’s sentence was reduced from six years to five years.

Farhana Shah, one of his lawyers, said, "Those arms were not utilized for any such purpose or planting or carrying out terrorist activity, so they have considered those points and they have reduced the sentence.”

Dutt spotlighted

Dutt, who has been out on bail, has been ordered to return to jail within four weeks. His arrest, trial and conviction during the investigation into the blasts has failed to dim his screen appeal.     

The court also slammed the Mumbai police, custom department officials and coast guards for failing to check the transportation of sophisticated weapons into India.

Poor vigilance along its long coastline has long been a cause of concern in the country. Authorities say the gunmen who carried out deadly terror attacks in 2008 in Mumbai also came into the city by sea. Since then, authorities have announced a host of measures to revamp coastal security.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid