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Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Jail for Mumbai blasts policemen
By Monica Chadha
BBC News, Mumbai

A scene from the 1993 Mumbai blast (Pic: Fawzan Husain)
Hundreds were killed or wounded in the blasts
Four former policemen in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) have been given six year jail sentences for their role in the deadly 1993 bomb blasts there.

The policemen have also been asked to pay a fine of 25,000 rupees ($610) or spend an additional six months in jail.

The court earlier found them guilty of aiding and abetting terrorist acts.

The blasts killed 257 people. They are believed to have been carried out by one of the city's notorious underworld crime syndicates.

Their motive is said to have been revenge for earlier religious riots that left more than 2,000 people dead.

Prosecutors say the sentencing of the rest of those found guilty is expected to go on for a fortnight.

'No sympathy'

Reading out Monday's sentences, Judge PD Kode said the guilt of the four policemen had been established.

He said the policemen allowed the "contraband material" (explosives) to be brought in after taking a bribe of 700,000 rupees ($17,231).

Two of the policemen broke down when the judge read out the sentences.

Scene of Mumbai blast, 1993 (Pic: Fawzan Husain)
The blasts are believed to have been carried out by one of the city's crime syndicates

Judge Kode said the policemen had "assisted, aided and abetted" dangerous terrorist activities and hence deserved no sympathy.

The four policemen were on duty the night the consignment of explosives was smuggled into India through the sea into the Raigad area near Mumbai city.

These explosives were used in the series of blasts that rocked Mumbai on March 12, 1993.

The convicted policemen have already been in jail for three years and will spend three more years behind bars.

Long process

Judge Kode also sentenced Manzoor Ahmed, who was found guilty of taking a rifle from Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt's house to the residence of another accused.

Ahmed was given 10 years in prison and fined 50,000 rupees ($1,200).

If he fails to pay the fine, he would have to spend an additional year in jail.

Dutt, who is among the 100 accused, was found guilty of possessing an illegal weapon but acquitted of more serious terrorism charges.

He is due to be sentenced later this month.

Last week, the judge began handing out sentences to the 100 accused found guilty of involvement in the Mumbai blasts.

The first five people sentenced on Friday received three years each in prison.

They were found guilty of transporting explosives into the city. They were also fined 25,000 rupees ($610) each.

Sentencing of the remaining 90 accused is due to be completed by the end of May.

The man who is believed to have masterminded the plot, underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, has still not been caught.

India says he and another key suspect, Tiger Memon, are hiding in Pakistan - a charge Pakistan denies.

The prosecution has demanded the death penalty for 44 of those convicted of conspiracy and planting explosives, including three of Memon's brothers.




SEE ALSO
Mumbai blasts sentencing begins
18 May 07 |  South Asia
Mumbai blasts acquitted set free
09 May 07 |  South Asia
Mumbai gripped by Dutt in the dock
28 Nov 06 |  South Asia
Long wait for Mumbai blasts justice
13 Sep 06 |  South Asia
Profile: India's fugitive gangster
12 Sep 06 |  South Asia
In pictures: 1993 Mumbai blasts
12 Sep 06 |  In Pictures

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