Abdul Gani Turk, a convict in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, dies in Nagpur Jail

Nagpur: Abdul Gani Turk, a 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict lodged at the Nagpur Central Jail, died Thursday, an official said.

Turk, 68, was lodged in the Nagpur Central Jail since 2012.

Convicted for planting a bomb at Century Bazar, one of the 12 sites devastated by serial blasts in the country’s financial capital on March 12, 1993, Turk was serving life imprisonment after his death sentence was commuted.

At least 257 people died in the blasts. Jail superintendent Rani Bhosle told media that Turk was not keeping well for some time and was taken to the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) here on April 22.

Later he was brought back and being treated at the prison hospital. He fell unconscious Thursday morning and rushed to the GMCH where he was declared dead around 12.45 pm, she said.

He had suffered paralysis last year. The cause of death will be known after autopsy report is available, the superintendent added.

Abdul Gani Turk who was accused of planting RDX at Century Bazaar and killing 113 people on March 12, 1993, was convicted by the special TADA court for his role in the serial blasts conspiracy. The 48-year-old former havala agent of the absconding prime accused, Ibrahim Mushtaq ‘Tiger’ Memon, was the eighth accused to be convicted. He was convicted of driving an RDX-laden Commander vehicle from the Memon residence at Al-Husseini building in Mahim to Century Bazaar and parking it opposite an Udipi restaurant. The blast resulted in the highest toll — 113 dead, 229 injured, and property worth Rs 2.41 crore damaged.

The evidence given by the witnesses against Turk was found to be “unimpeachable and alone sufficient to be relied upon” by Judge PD Kode. The judge also accepted Turk’s first confession, which he had retracted, as “voluntary and consistent with facts and other evidence” and discarded a second confession saying it was not properly recorded.

Turk had also confessed to filling RDX in the vehicles and parking the jeep at Century Bazaar. He said he had performed namaaz after parking the vehicle. The judge held him guilty on 14 charges but acquitted him of the charges of undergoing training at Sandheri and Bhor villages and participating in meetings at Babloo and Moosa Bhiwandiwala’s residence. But he held that Turk’s presence at the training sites and outside the room when other conspirators met proved his complicity.

The Abdul Gani Turk was lodged in Nagpur Central Prison since his conviction in the serial blasts case. On Thursday, he suddenly died in jail. The cause of his death could not be ascertained immediately. Cardiac arrest could be the cause, sources said.