News headlines

Anand Holla / Mid-Day

Mumbai, May 21: Today, the TADA court is scheduled to sentence the world’s first policemen convicted of assisting terror attacks – sub-inspector Vijay Patil and constables Ashok Muneshwar, P M Mahadik, R D Mali, and S Y Palshikar.

In the first week of January, Patil, after taking Rs 7 lac from Tiger Memon’s men, asked the constables of the Raigad’s Shrivardhan police to allow the smooth landing of arms and ammunition that had come from Pakistan shores to Dighi in Raigad.

These were later used in the 19a93 blasts. Julio Ribeiro, former Mumbai police commissioner and an expert on terrorism, said, “I don’t know of any other case in which policemen have been convicted for aiding terrorists.”

Big sentences

The TADA court may hand the policemen anything from an imprisonment of five years to life. However, Patil’s sentencing might happen later, as he is also convicted of conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of death.

Customs officers M S Sayyed and R K Singh are also expected to be sentenced today along with with Manzoor Sayyed, Uttam Potdar, Mohammad Lajpuria who have been found guilty of participating in the Dighi landing and aiding and abetting terrorists.  

Smuggler brothers Mohammad Dossa and Mustafa Dossa had handled the Dighi landing, while Tiger Memon co-ordinated the two Shekhadi landings. Sanjay Dutt’s AK-56 was also part of the Dighi landing.

Constables K S Mokal, K T Pingle, and M M More, who were accused of aiding the operation, were acquitted, due to lack of evidence. 

First blast convicts sent to Ratnagiri

The first men to be convicted in the 1993 blasts Rashid Alware, Yashwant Bhoinkar, Abbas Shaikhdare, Shahjahan Shaikhdare, and Sharif Adhikari were transferred from Arthur Road Jail to Ratnagiri Prison on Saturday as per the TADA court’s orders.

The men have been sentenced to three years imprisonment and were fined Rs 25,000 for allowing the use of their vehicles for ferrying arms and explosives that were later used in the 1993 serial blasts.

A senior TADA lawyer said the convicts had pleaded to the court for 10 days’ time to arrange the fine money, but the court responded to the plea saying it could not alter an order that had already been passed.

S P Yadav, SIG Prison, western region, admitted, “Normally convicts are immediately sent to other jails after the court orders convictions, as the Arthur Road Jail is extremely overcrowded.

I am not aware of the specifics of this case.” The superintendent of Arthur Road Jail, Swati Sathe, said she could not comment, as she was busy with a family function.

Kanishka cops

On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight-182 ‘Kanishka’ (Montreal-Bombay) was bombed near Ireland, killing 329.

After a 20-year-long trial, the Canadian court acquitted Canadian cops Ripudaman Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, but sentenced bomb-maker Inderjit Reyat for five years.

Both cops allegedly ignored intelligence into the attack. A fresh probe was recently initiated to probe Malik and Bagri’s role in the attack. 


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