Refuting reports that 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts prime accused Abu Salem was given sentenced to life imprisonment as he was guarded by the immunity provided by India’s extradition treaty with Portugal; Neeraj Kumar, DIG Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that the life term is awarded due to his peripheral role contrary to mass perception.

Speaking exclusively to NewsX, Kumar — DIG CBI of Special Task Force which probed Mumbai 1993 serials bomb blasts — said that Abu Salem was involved in the transportation of weapons only and was not part of the conspiracy meeting. He also talks about the specific role of Tahir Merchant and Feroz Khan.

The Special TADA Court on Thursday awarded the death penalty to two convicts, life sentences to two others, including gangster Abu Salem, while giving 10 years jail to one accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case that killed more than 250 people and left over 700 people injured.

Special Judge GA Sanap also slapped a fine of Rs 200,000 on convicts Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan, after finding them guilty on various charges including murder, supplying arms and other serious offences.

Merchant was convicted for conspiring, facilitating and knowingly commissioning acts of terror.

They were earlier pronounced “guilty” by the Special Court on June 16, along with three others including Mustafa Dossa who died on June 28.

Earlier, Abu Salem was convicted in blast case TADA court under conspiracy charges of terrorist activities. These are the biggest accusations Abu Salem has been facing. These charges are enough for a person to be given a death penalty. However, the death sentence cannot be awarded to Salem because of India’s treaty with Portugal.

Besides Salem, the Special Court awarded life sentence to Karimullah Khan and 10 years rigorous imprisonment to the fifth convict, Riyaz Siddiqui.

The judgment comes as Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) court convicted Mustafa Dossa in the blast case in June early this year. The court found Dossa guilty of playing a key role in hatching the conspiracy and supplying arms and ammunitions for the same. The court also found Mustafa Dossa guilty of ‘training terrorists’. The TADA court also convicted Mustafa’s brother Mohammad Dossa for the same.

Notably, a day after being convicted, Mustafa Dossa died in Mumbai’s JJ Hospital on June 28 after he was admitted as he complained of chest pain.