1993 Mumbai blasts convict arrested

Kannur, Aug 29 (ENS): A life-term convict in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, who was avoiding a TADA court arrest warrant, was nabbed by the Kannur Police from Athazhakkunnu near Kakkad.

According to DySP P Sukumaran, Manoj Kumar Bhanwarlal Gupta, 47, alias Muhammed Ali or Munna, who is suspected to have close links with Tiger Memon, the prime conspirator of the blasts which left 257 persons dead and over 700 injured, was picked up by a town police team led by SI Sanal Kumar from a house at Athazhakkunnu in the wee hours of Wednesday. The arrest followed a tip-off received by district police chief Rahul R Nair.

Munna, a native of Etah district, Uttar Pradesh, had married one Rasia of Athazhakkunnu in 2008 in Mumbai. The police had been alerted long back as the CBI suspected that he used to visit his wife at her house in Athazhakkunnu. Though the police got credible evidence earlier this year that Munna had reached the house, he managed to escape via Nedumbassery airport before getting caught, the DySP said.

“We have informed the CBI of the arrest and they will soon reach Kannur to take over the convict,” he added. Munna had completed his 14-year sentence on charges of involvement in landing arms and ammunition for the Bombay serial blasts. He was out of prison since 2007, when the Supreme Court (SC) enhanced his sentence to a full life term. The SC verdict in March this year allowed an appeal filed by the CBI against the 2006 judgement by the Mumbai Special TADA court acquitting Munna of conspiracy charges.

Following the SC order, Munna should have surrendered before TADA court in April to serve life term. As he failed to appear, court issued an arrest warrant on April 18. The SC had upheld charges levelled by the CBI against Munna.

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