Mumbai Mirror Bureau
Mumbai, Sep 19: The big fish are out and we are the scapegoats,” said Asgar Mukadam, minutes after Judge P N Kode held him and Shahnawaz Abdul Kadar Qureshi guilty of parking an RDX-laden car at Plaza theatre on March 12, 1993, which exploded killing 10 people and injuring 36. The explosion also caused Rs 87 lakh worth of damage to property.
Mukadam, an accountant of Tiger Memon and accused number 10 in the case, had driven the bomb-laden van to Plaza theatre while Qureshi accompanied him. Both had confessed to their roles and the court admitted the same as true and voluntarily given. Two witnesses examined during the trial had identified the accused. Four others were also examined of which two were working with Plaza. Mukadam was also charged with packing RDX in various vehicles which were used in the blasts and collecting money for carrying out the conspiracy. Qureshi was found guilty of landing the RDX at Shekhadi in Raigad district which was later used for the blasts, packing RDX in vehicles, participating in the meeting where the conspiracy was hatched, and going to Pakistan for training via Dubai.
The court also found Mukadam guilty of facilitating terrorist acts by driving those who had planted explosives at Centaur hotel, Sahar airport and Searock. The court held that the prosecution failed to prove Mukadam’s involvement in landing the explosives and his presence at the conspiracy meeting held at Tiger Memon’s house at Al-Husseni building.
The designated TADA court had earlier held Tiger Memon’s brothers Yakub, Yusuf and Essa and sister-in-law Rubina and his key aide Mohammed Shoaib Ghansar guilty in the case.