Himayat Baig, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative and the sole arrested accused in the German Bakery blast case, was convicted by a sessions court for murder, criminal conspiracy and other charges. His will be sentenced on April 18.
On February 13, 2010, a powerful explosion rocked the popular eatery, killing 17 and wounding 64, in the first terror attack in Pune.
“Taking into consideration the evidence before me, I am holding Baig guilty,” Additional Sessions Judge N P Dhote said pronouncing his judgement.
The judge fixed April 18 for pronouncing the quantum of sentence for offences which are punishable with death.
Baig, a resident of Maharashtra's Beed district, was present in court, which held him guilty under several sections of the IPC, including murder, attempt to murder and promoting enmity between different groups.
He was also convicted under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Explosive Substances Act.
The judge also upheld the prosecution charge that the terror attack was specially designed to cause damage to the lives of foreign nationals visiting the country and its reputation in the matter of security.
Of the 17 killed in the blast that brought Pune on the terror radar for the first time, five were foreigners. Two were from Sudan, while one each hailed from Italy, Nepal and Iran. LeT operative David Headley,in his testimony before a Chicago court in the trial of his accomplice Tahawwur Rana, had admitted that he had visited and taken photographs of the popular hang-out in Pune.
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
FEB 13, 2010 Explosion outside German Bakery in Pune. Seventeen people killed
FEB 16, 2010 Pune police arrest two people from Pune suburbs. Two more detained from Aurangabad APRIL 7, 2010 ATS names Yasin Bhatkal, believed to be a relative of Indian Mujahideen founder Riyaz Bhatkal, as one of the main conspirators of the blast in a preliminary report
MAY 24, 2010 Abdul Bhatkal, younger brother of Yasin detained at Mangalore airport
SEPTEMBER 9, 2010 ATS arrested Mirza Himayat Baig for his involvement in the attack, as well as his aide Shaikh Lalbaba Mohammed Hussain alias Bilal (27), both believed to be members of the LeT.
DEC 4 , 2010 2500-pages chargesheet filed
APRIL, 2011 Special judge Usha Thakare hearing the case transferred
JUNE 2011 Additional sessions judge N P Dhote given charge to hear the case
JULY 2011 Charges framed against Baig who pleads not guilty
MARCH 2013: Prosecution and defense conclude their arguments
APRIL 15, 2013 Himayat Baig held guilty by the court.