Indian court acquits Abdul Karim Tunda in 1993 serial bombings case

The bomb blasts ripped through trains in five cities during one December night

Abdul Karim Tunda, 81, was accused of being the mastermind of explosions in Lucknow, Kanpur, Hyderabad, Surat and Mumbai in 1993
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An Indian court has acquitted an 81-year-old man accused of carrying out a series of bomb blasts in five cities across the country in 1993.

Abdul Karim Tunda was accused of being the mastermind of the explosions that ripped through trains in Lucknow, Kanpur, Hyderabad, Surat and Mumbai on the night of December 5-6 in 1993.

At least two people were killed and more than two dozen injured in the blasts.

The explosions coincided with the first anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Mosque by a Hindu mob in Ayodhya in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Tunda was arrested in 2014 after evading law enforcement agencies for more than a decade.

A special court in Ajmer in the western state of Rajasthan on Thursday acquitted him due to lack of evidence, his lawyer said.

“The honourable court has acquitted Abdul Karim Tunda from all the charges. We always said that he is innocent, and the court gave this judgment today,” Shafiktullah Sultani said outside the court.

Mr Sultani said the federal investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, could not produce concrete evidence against Mr Tunda.

The court, however, sentenced two other accused – Irfan, 70, and Hameeduddin, 44 – to life imprisonment.

The Indian police had alleged that Mr Tunda worked for the Pakistan-based, Al Qaeda-linked militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba as a bomb maker.

He was accused of being involved in several other bombings and is serving a life sentence over a bombing in northern Haryana state in 1996.

Mr Tunda will remain in jail.

The December 1993 bombings shocked the nation months after a series of highly co-ordinated attacks rocked the country's financial capital, Mumbai, then known as Bombay, in March, killing 257 people and injuring 1,400.

Updated: February 29, 2024, 1:45 PM