A convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, Tahir Merchant alias Tahir Takla, died of a heart attack early on Wednesday. He was lodged in Pune’s Yerawada Central Jail.
On March 12, 1993, at least 257 people were killed and over 700 injured in 12 powerful blasts across Mumbai. The explosions, orchestrated by gangster Dawood Ibrahim, were an act of revenge against the communal riots that swept through Mumbai in December 1992 and January 1993 after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya on December 6, 1992. At least 900 people were killed in the riots and more than 2,000 were injured – the majority of them Muslims.
Merchant was given the death penalty in the case for conspiring, facilitating and knowingly commissioning acts of terror that led to the bomb blasts, PTI reported. He was one of two convicts sentenced to death in the case.