The lone conspirator who was arrested in connection with the 2010 Germany Bakery vase was found guilty by a Pune court on Monday.
Sessions Judge N P Dhote pronounced the accused, Mirza Himayat Baig, guilty of the terror act under sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substances), 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, language and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of Indian Penal Code, 10, 13, 16, 18, 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and 3, 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act, reported a leading daily.
On 13 February 2010, a bomb blast at German Bakery, Pune's famous eatery in Koregaon Park, killed at least 17 people including five foreigners and injured 64.
Baig is the only conspirator who was arrested several months after the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad began a probe into the incident. He was arrested in September 2010 after the cops recovered 1,200kg of explosives at his home. The other five accused - Fayyaz Kagzi, Mohsin Chaudhari and the Bhatkal brothers (Yasin, Iqbal and Riyaz) - are still at large.
According to investigators, the bomb was planted by Yasin, who is one of the senior members of the Indian Mujahideen.
The prosecution claimed that Baig went to Colombo in 2008, where he learned to make bombs. Baig's counsel denied the claims and said that he was not even in Pune when the blast occurred. The prosecution as well as the defence concluded their arguments in the last week of March, following which the judge began dictating the judgment. He fixed the date of the verdict for 15 April (Monday).
Even as the Pune court convicted Baig in the bomb blast case, the Sessions judge is yet to sentence Baig. The judge said that the quantum of his punishment will be announced on 18 April.