Nearly 12 years after three coordinated bomb blasts in crowded areas of Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar's Kabutarkhana killed 26 persons and injured 130 others, the trial in the case began on Thursday after many hiccups, with the first witness in the case testifying before a special court.
Ten persons face trial in the case. An eleventh one died of Covid-19 during the pandemic. Among the accused, Yasin Bhatkal, founder of the terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM), is allegedly the main conspirator.
On Thursday, the first prosecution witness to testify was an independent witness who had been present during the handover to the police from Noor Hospital of blast splinters. These were recovered from the body of a 21-year-old injured victim of the blast that took place near Opera House. The splinters had hurt him on his right upper arm. They had been removed into a plastic cover and handed over to the police. The plastic cover was then sealed in his presence along with those of other independent witnesses and the police.
Only last week, an accused Naqi Shaikh had written to the court and said that he intended to go on an indefinite hunger strike due to the huge delay in the commencement of the trial. He had sought that the matter, which is over a decade old, be conducted on a daily basis.
The court had framed charges in the case against most of the accused in September 2019. The step would pave the way for the trial to begin. The court framed charges of offences against the accused for them to stand trial. It took another four years for the trial to begin. One of the reasons for the delay was due to the framing of charges against other accused being delayed. The reason being, that they were in different prisons spread across states, being accused in other cases too and the court had to ensure their physical presence for the procedure.
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