India Mumbai blasts convict dies of heart attack

Mustafa Dossa sits inside a police van as he leaves from Arthur Road Jail for a special court in Mumbai (16 June 2017) Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mustafa Dossa was convicted by a Mumbai court earlier this month

A man convicted of involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts has died of a heart attack, one day after prosecutors asked a court to sentence him to death.

Mustafa Dossa was found guilty of transporting weapons to Mumbai.

The explosions killed 257 people, and were allegedly to avenge the killing of Muslims in riots a few months earlier.

The blasts targeted a dozen sites, including the Bombay Stock Exchange, the offices of national carrier Air India and a luxury hotel.

Indian media reports say Dossa was admitted to the jail hospital ward after he complained of severe chest pain early on Wednesday.

Indian prosecutors had argued that Dossa was one of the "brains" behind the attack and was even more culpable than Yakub Memon, who was hanged for his role in the blasts in 2015, the PTI news agency said.

He was found guilty earlier this month, but the court had not pronounced a sentence.

Dossa, along with six others, was tried separately for his role in the blasts.

The seven men were arrested between 2003 and 2010 and tried separately from Memon as they were arrested towards the end of his trial.

A court found six of them guilty of criminal conspiracy and murder. One man was acquitted.

History of Mumbai attacks

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The blasts in India's financial capital killed 257 people and wounded 713
  • March 1993: Series of explosions kill 257 people and injure 713
  • August 2003: Four bomb attacks kill 52 people
  • July 2006: Seven bombs go off on crowded trains within 11 minutes, killing more than 180 people and wounding hundreds
  • November 2008: Gunmen carry out a series of co-ordinated attacks across seven high-profile locations, including two luxury hotels, city's main commuter train station, a hospital, a restaurant and a Jewish centre, killing 165 people. Pakistan-based militants blamed for the attacks and peace efforts between the two countries derailed. Nine of the attackers also killed. Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, who was captured alive, hanged in November 2012
  • July 2011: Three near-simultaneous explosions during Mumbai's evening rush hour kill 18 people and injure 131

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