New Delhi, Apr 27 (PTI) The CBI has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for providing credible information about an absconder Mushtaq Ahmed, one of the main accused in the 1993 blast at RSS office in Chennai which killed 11 people.

56-year old Ahmed, who allegedly procured the explosive material for assembling the bomb and provided shelter to other accused, has eluded the CBI dragnet for the last 24 years.

The agency’s hunt for Ahmed has gathered steam now even though a TADA court in Chennai had convicted 11 persons and awarded life term to three of them in the case in 2007 after a 12-year trial.

Ahmed did not face trial as he could not be arrested.

CBI sources said the agency has now announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to anyone who would provide credible information about the whereabouts of Ahmed which may lead to his arrest.

The blast on August 8, 1993 was triggered using RDX which brought down the multi-storeyed RSS office at Chetput in Chennai, claiming 11 lives.

The agency was entrusted with the probe in 1993 and it filed charge sheet against 18 persons under the stringent provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and Terrorist and Detructive Activities Act (TADA).

After the trial in 2007, the special court had acquitted four persons, including SA Basha, founder of the banned Al Umma for lack of evidence against them.

Immam Ali, a suspected ISI agent who had escaped from custody in Madurai, was gunned down in Bangalore in an encounter with the police on September 29, 2002, while another accused– Jihad Committee Founder Palani Baba– was hacked to death by suspected RSS sympathisers on January 28, 1997.

Of the 431 witnesses, 224 were examined during the course of the trial which commenced on August 7, 1995. The charge sheet was filed on June 8, 1994.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.