Pune court gives death sentence to German Bakery blast accused

Himayat Baig was found guilty for his role in the German Bakery terror attack which left 17 people dead.

PUNE: Calling it the 'rarest of rare' case, a Pune court has sentenced an Bakery blast prime accused and Indian Mujahideen operative Himayat Baig to death

On Monday, the court Himayat Baig guilty for his role in the terror attack which left 17 people dead, drawing the curtain on the trial in the Valentine's Day eve tragedy here in 2010.

"Taking into consideration the evidence before me, I am holding Baig guilty," Special Judge Dhote said of the lone arrested accused who planted the bomb under one of the tables in the German Bakery restaurant.

Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakre said Baig was charged under Indian Penal Code Sections 302, 307 (murder and attempt to murder), 435, 474 (mischief by fire and explosive and forgery) and 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), besides other charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Explosives Act.

Baig's lawyer A. Rahman said though he respected the special court verdict, he would challenge it in the Bombay High Court.

"We are going to appeal in the Bombay High Court. I am sure we shall get justice there," Rahman told reporters shortly after the verdict.

A resident of Beed district, Baig was nabbed from Udgir town in neighbouring Latur district by the state Anti-Terrorism Squad in September 2010, nearly seven months after the terror attack.

After his arrest in September 2010, the ATS charged Baig with hatching a conspiracy along with his six associates for the terror blast at German Bakery, situated in the up-market Koregaon Park area of Pune.

The investigators said the conspiracy for the terror blast was hatched in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in March 2008 in the presence of Baig, Jundal and Kagti. Baig's lawyer Rahman denied this charge.

After Baig returned from Colombo, he settled in Udgir where he operated a cyber cafe and remained in touch with the other accused using 25 different email identities, the prosecution said.

Baig surveyed the area near the German Bakery Jan 31, 2010 and under the orders of Yasin Bhatkal planted the bomb.

During the three-and-half-year-long trial, the prosecution examined 103 witnesses even as Baig rejected the charges claiming he was in Aurangabad on the day of the terror blast and was framed in the case.