Mumbai, Apr 22 (PTI) A special CBI court on Thursday acquitted underworld don Chhota Rajan and his aide in connection with the murder of Hanif Kadawala, an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case.
Rajan (62) and his associate Jaggnath Jaiswal, charged with murder and other offences under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), was acquitted by special CBI court judge A T Wankhede.
Kadawala transported weapons to Mumbai on the instructions of Tiger Memon, a key accused in the terror attack, and they were used in the 1993 blasts, which had killed more than 250 people.
Kadawala was killed on February 7, 2001, in his office here by three men.
The CBI, which probed the murder case, had alleged that Rajan ordered the killing of Kadawala to gain publicity.
Prior to this, Rajan had ordered the killing of several other blasts accused, the central agency had said.
Rajan and his aide were acquitted by the court for want of evidence, their lawyers said.
There was no evidence against Rajan. In fact, it is on record that the contract of killing Kadawala was given by the Guru Satam gang and Ravi Pujari gang.
'Rajans name was mentioned in this case only to misguide the investigating agency, Rajans lawyer Tushar Khandare said.
It was for want of cogent evidence that both the accused were let off by the court, Jaiswal's lawyer said.
The prosecution has claimed thatafter the blasts, Rajan parted ways with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, a key conspirator of the 1993 serial bombings.
It alleged Rajan initiated the killings of people involved in the blasts to gain public sympathy. PTI AVI RSY RSY