The NIA Special Court in Hyderabad on Monday sentenced five operatives of Indian Mujahideen to death in the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case. Asadullah Akthar alias Haddi, Zia Ur Rahman alias Waqas, Mohammed Tahseen Akthar alias Hassan, Ahmed Siddibappa Zarrar alias Yasin Bhatkal and Ajaz Shaikh — were held guilty for the 2013 twin blasts.
The first accused, Mohammed Riyaz alias Riyaz Bhatkal, is at large.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Special Court operating from the Charlapally central prison had recently convicted the quintet under different Sections of the Indian Penal Code and some Special Acts.
IM members detonated two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on February 21, 2013 almost simultaneously near the bustling Dilsukhnagar bus stop killing 21 people, and injuring 107.
The first IED blew up around 7 p.m. near 107 bus-stop. Even as horrified people ran helter skelter in the chaos that followed, another bomb went off near A1 Mirchi centre, a stone’s throw away.
The first blast was under Malakpet police station area of Hyderabad Commissionerate and the second in Saroornagar police station of Cyberabad (now Rachakonda) Commissionerate. Two separate cases were registered.
Investigators were clueless initially, and the case of twin bombings was transferred to the NIA. The first important lead came in the form of video footage recorded by a traffic surveillance camera and a private camera in a shop.
One member of the group was seen coming to the bus stop on a bicycle with a tiffin box on the carrier, and investigators continued to identify operatives who planted bombs in similar fashion at public places.
Meanwhile, intelligence agencies caught Ahmed Siddibappa Zarrar and Asadullah Akthar at the India-Nepal border in August 2013.
The duo reportedly admitted to interrogators that they were responsible for the Dilsukhnagar twin blasts, and were complicit in other terror cases.