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Mumbai, Mar 19: A special TADA court on Saturday framed charges against extradited gangster Abu Salem and his alleged associate Riaz Siddiqui in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

The charges, framed under provisions of TADA (P) Act, Explosives Substances Act, 1908, Explosives Act, 1884, IPC and Arms Act, were read out to Salem and Siddiqui by designated Judge P D Kode as both of them pleaded not not guilty.

Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in November last year, has been charged with collecting arms and ammunition from Baruch in Gujarat and distributing them to co-accused, including film actor Sanjay Dutt, in the second week of January 1993 before the Mumbai serial blasts.

Siddiqui is charged with helping Salem in distribution of arms by providing his car for this purpose.

Altogether nine charges were framed against Salem and two against Siddiqui.

The court would hear arguments on March 21 on the issue of separating trial of Salem and Siddiqui with other accused.

Salem is charged with committing offences under section 120-b IPC (conspiracy), section 3(3) of TADA (P) Act (collecting and distributing arms to co-accused), section 5 of TADA (P) Act (possessing firearms and weapons), section 6 of TADA (P) Act (transporting and storing firearms and weapons).

He is charged with offences under section 4 (b) and section 5 of Explosive Substances Act (possessing and transporting explosives respectively).

Besides, Salem is also charged with offences under section 5 of Explosive Act 1884 (for possessing explosives) and sections 3 and 7 of Arms Act, 1959.


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