BENGALURU: Eight years after two blasts that rocked Chinnaswamy Stadium in the city, the NIA special court on Monday sentenced three accused to seven years imprisonment after they pleaded guilty on Wednesday. The court, which had posted its order for Monday pronounced that the accused, Gowhar Azeez Khomani (A5), Kamal Hasan (A12), and Mohammed Kafeel Akhtar (A13), should also pay Rs 7.5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh penalties for their involvement in the twin blast that took place on April 17, 2010, ahead of an Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Royal Challengers and Mumbai Indians. 15 people, including five security men, were injured in the blasts.
The three accused on Friday, who recorded their confessions before Justice Siddalinga Prabhu, told the court that they were ‘indirectly involved in the blast’ and that there was no evidence of their ‘direct involvement. They told the court that neither they were part of the core team which carried out the blast nor they themselves carried the bombs to the stadium. However, they were once part of a meeting with prime accused in the case Yasin Bhatkal and Riyaz Bhatkal and other members which took place in New Delhi to discuss the blast and provided all the facilities to other accused in Bengaluru.
The court found them guilty on three counts under Section 18 (conspiracy), 19 ( harbouring ) and 20 (being part of the terror organisation) of the UAPA act. Out of seven years of the sentence, the accused have to undergo one year of rigorous imprisonment. The court also charged Akhtar with Section 13(1) (advocates, abets, advises or incites the commission of, any unlawful activity) and slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh.
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