Mumbai, Sep 30: A special court on Wednesday awarded the death penalty to five people and life in prison to seven others, all convicted for the July 11, 2006, serial blasts on Mumbai’s suburban trains which killed 189 people, in one of the worst attacks on the city’s crowded public transport system.
On September 11, Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Judge Y.D. Shinde found all the 12 people guilty of their role in serial blasts in the suburban trains, which also injured 817 commuters rushing home during the peak hours that rainy evening.
Stunned by the punishment, relatives of the convicts who were awarded death sentence, said they would challenge the court verdict in the Bombay High Court.
Special Judge Shinde found that M. Faisal Attaur Rehman Shaikh, who was awarded death penalty, went to Pakistan twice for training.
He also sent youth to Pakistan for training, harboured Pakistanis at his home, and received money by the hawala route.
Similarly, Kamal A. Ansari was also trained in Pakistan, transported Pakistanis from the Nepal border to Mumbai, procured explosive material and planted the bomb which exploded in the suburban train at Matunga.
Naved Hussain Khan surveyed the trains, transported a bomb from Govandi to Bandra, planted one bomb on the train which exploded at Khar station.
Asif Khan alias Junaid procured the explosive material used to make the bomb, and planted one which exploded in the train at Borivali.
Ehtesham K. Siddiqui, the Maharashtra joint secretary of banned orgainsation SIMI, recced local trains, transported Pakistanis to Mumbra in Thane district, was present when the bombs were made at a house in Govandi, and planted the bomb which exploded in the train at Mira Road.
Five among the seven convicts awarded life sentence were trained in Pakistan, while Mohammed Majid Shafi helped transport Pakistanis from Bangladesh border to Mumbai and then back to Bangladesh after the terror blasts.
The trial started in June 2007, but was stayed in February 2008 after one of the 13 accused, Kamal Ansari, challenged the phrase ‘promoting insurgency’ in defining organised crime in the MCOCA as “unconstitutional”.
In April 2010, the Supreme Court dismissed his petition, which paved the way for the trial to resume and complete this month.