1993 Mumbai blasts convict comes on wheelchair to surrender (Lead, With Images)

Mumbai, May 20 (IANS) Two elderly and ailing convicts in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case were respectively brought on a stretcher and a wheelchair to surrender before a TADA Special Court here Monday to serve their sentence.

While Zaibunissa Kazi, 75, suffering from multiple ailments including cancer, was brought on a wheelchair, Sharif ‘Dada’ Parkar, 80, was brought in an ambulance on a stretcher before Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) Special Judge G.A. Sanap in the afternoon.

They came three days after the special court issued non-bailable arrest warrants against them for not adhering to the Supreme Court deadline to surrender and serve their remaining sentence awarded in the blasts case.

Both Kazi and Parkar, who were slated to surrender May 17, could not come on the designated day owing to ill-health and had sought an extension from the court which was not granted.

Parkar was hospitalised last week for chest pain, while Kazi had to undergo certain medical tests.

Shortly after their surrender, Special Judge Sanap directed police to take them into custody and send them to jail to serve their remaining sentence.

Parkar’s involvement pertained to conspiracy and overseeing the landing of arms and RDX in Raigad in Maharashtra before the March 12, 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai.

Kazi was found guilty and convicted for allowing another co-accused to store some weapons at her home, which were part of a bigger consignment.

She came to the court on a wheelchair accompanied by her daughter and gave herself up to the court.

Soon after her arrival, Kazi was mobbed by media-persons and she broke down, pleading “mercy and forgiveness” from the government.

“At my age and my present health condition, it is not possible for me to undergo this punishment… I have suffered enough… I urge the government to pardon me and save me from this predicament,” Kazi said.

Kazi said she was suffering from hypertension, cholesterol and thyroid problems and had undergone a major kidney operation some time ago.

“I simply cannot sit on the floor, how will I manage in the jail? At home my daughter looks after me, I don’t know what will happen in the jail,” she cried.

Though she has claimed innocence, Kazi was convicted under the Arms Act and the TADA Act and sentenced to five years’ jail.

In March, Kazi, through her daughter (who has declined to be identified), had appealed to Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju to take up her case with the Maharashtra governor for a pardon.

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