Three persons recently convicted in the 2008 Ahmedabad bomb blasts case alleged that an accused-turned-approver testified against them due to “jealousy and religious differences”, PTI reported on Sunday, citing the judgement.

All the three convicts – Shamsuddin Sahabuddin Sheikh, Mohammad Iqbal Kagzi and Quayyamuddin Kapadia – made the allegations before the trial court against the approver, Ayaz Saiyed. Sheikh, Kagzi and Kapadia are among 38 persons who have been sentenced to death in the case.

Under Sections 306 and 307 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, a court can pardon an accused person if the person makes a full and true disclosure about the offence as known to them, and about all the persons who allegedly committed the crime. Under this provision, Saiyed was made an approver and granted pardon in the in the Ahmedabad blasts case.

Sheikh told the court that he and Saiyed were lodged in the same cell at the Gujarat Crime Branch office, as well as the same barrack at the Sabarmati jail in Ahmedabad. Sheikh claimed he would beat Saiyed “in every field, either sports or academic competition, which increased his jealousy towards me”.

Sheikh also said that Saiyed belongs to the Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam, while he belongs to a different sect. “These differences further increased [Saiyed’s] hatred and enmity towards me,” he said, according to court’s judgement.

Sheikh claimed that Saiyed’s deposition was false and fabricated, and was made in such a way that it would corroborate the statements of other witnesses, The Indian Express reported. He claimed that the other witnesses had been tutored by Crime Branch officers.

On similar lines, Kagzi claimed that Saiyed would taunt other prisoners who were studying for courses through the Indira Gandhi National Open University. Saiyed used to say that he would get a television in the jail and watch at a loud volume to disturb those who studied. Saiyed allegedly got angry at Kagzi and abused him when asked not to do so.

“He said no one can stop him from doing what is his choice,” Kagzi told the court, according to The Indian Express. “Incidentally, the jail authorities did not provide television to us in our barrack for security reasons… Ayaz [Saiyed] assumed that it was because of me.”

Kapadia told the court that Saiyed became an approver due to threats and enticements from Crime Branch officers.

Court’s verdict

On February 18, a special court in Gujarat sentenced 38 of the 49 convicts to death in the bomb blasts case. Special Judge AR Patel sentenced the rest of the accused persons to life imprisonment.

The court announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the kin of those who were killed in the blasts. For those who suffered serious injuries, the judge gave a compensation of Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000 for victims with minor wounds.

As many as 22 explosions ripped had through the city on July 26, 2008, leaving 56 dead and over 200 injured.

The police had claimed that people associated with the banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen were responsible for the serial blasts. Indian Mujahideen is a faction of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India.