A Pune sessions court today sentenced to death the sole accused arrested for his involvement in the 2010 Pune German bakery blast in which 17 persons were killed.
The alleged Indian Mujahideen activist was sentenced to death today after the court hear arguments from the prosecution and defence on the quantum of sentence.
Mirza Himayat Baig (30), a resident of Beed, was convicted on charges of being a conspirator in carrying out the blast in the bakery that was packed with customers, killing 17 persons, including five foreign nationals.
Sessions Court Judge N P Dhote held Baig, a resident of Beed district in Maharashtra, guilty under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substances), 474 (forgery), 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) of IPC.
He was also convicted under various sections of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Explosive Substances Act
The state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested Baig on 7 September, 2010. Investigators say they found 1,200 kg of explosives from his home in Udgir in Latur district.
During the course of the argument, the defence maintained that Baig was falsely implicated by the ATS in the case. They claimed that Baig was attending a wedding in Aurangabad on the day of the blast. The prosecution has said in court that the blast was planned at a meeting in Colombo in 2008, where Baig was trained to make a bomb. He assembled the bomb at his cyber cafe in Udgir.
The charge sheet filed in court names five others as conspirators – Mohsin Choudhary, Yasin Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal and Faiyaz Kagzi. However, all of them are still at large.
The blast conspiracy was allegedly hatched in Colombo in Sri Lanka in 2008 and the blast took place in 2010. It was around 7 pm on 13 February, 2010, when the powerful blast ripped through the eatery packed with visitors. Five foreigners were among the 17 killed in the terror attack — the first after the 26/11 attacks of Mumbai in 2008.
It was the first major terror strike in Pune that dented its reputation of being a safe, peaceful city. The ATS had claimed it to be the handiwork of Indian Mujahideen and Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba.