German Bakery blast: Bombay HC commutes Himayat Baig's death sentence to life

The Bombay High Court on Thursday commuted the death sentence awarded to Germany Bakery blast convict Himayat Baig to a life term.

Baig was convicted only under one section, while he was acquitted of the remaining charges, ANI reported.

Baig, who the police said was a member of the terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen, was arrested in September 2010 for involvement in the blast at German Bakery, a popular eatery in Pune's Koregaon Park area, which killed 17 persons and injured 58 including some foreign nationals.

In 2013, the sessions court in Pune convicted him and awarded him capital punishment.

German Bakery blast: Bombay HC commutes Himayat Baigs death sentence to life

The blast at German Bakery. File photo. Reuters

The sessions court had held Baig, a resident of Beed, 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 trial, the defence had claimed 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 chargesheet 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 at German Bakery 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.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 17, 2016 21:07:17 IST

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