5 get death sentence for July 2006 Mumbai Train Blasts

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Collage of some of the 7/11 blasts case convicts outside the Special MCOCA court in Mumbai.  Photo - PTI

FILE: Collage of some of the 7/11 blasts case convicts outside the Special MCOCA court in Mumbai.
Photo – PTI

Special MCOCA court in Mumbai on Wednesday awarded death sentence to five of the 12 convicts in July 2006 suburban train bomb blast case. While, the remaining seven convicts have been sentenced for life in the deadly blasts which killed 189 people and left scores injured. The Special MCOCA court had on September 11 convicted 12 people in the case, even as 15 suspects still remain on the run, including a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) man Azam Chima.

The special court pronounced its verdict on Wednesday afternoon after lengthy arguments over the quantum of sentence to be awarded to the convicts lasted nearly three weeks.

On July 7, 2006, the commercial capital was once again left shaken after a series of powerful RDX laden bombs exploded inside the compartments of seven moving suburban trains. Earlier, delivering the verdict, the Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Judge Yatin D Shinde had held 12 accused as guilty whereas one accused, 34 years old Abdul Wahid Shaikh, was acquitted in the case.

Kamal Ahamed Ansari (37), Tanvir Ahmed Ansari (37), Mohd Faisal Shaikh (36), Ehtesham Siddiqui (30), Mohammad Majid Shafi (32), Shaikh Alam Shaikh (41), Mohd Sajid Ansari (34), Muzzammil Shaikh (27), Soheil Mehmood Shaikh (43), Zamir Ahmad Shaikh (36), Naveed Hussain Khan (30) and Asif Khan (38) were convicted by the Special MCOCA court.

The trial after the meticulous probe in what is also termed as 7/11 Mumbai blasts lasted eight long years. 192 witnesses were examined by the prosecution side, which included eight Indian Police Service (IPS) and five Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers as well as 18 doctors. The defence lawyers too had examined 51 witnesses and one person was called as a court witness. The deposition made by witnesses ran into around 5,500 pages.

Described as one of the deadliest terror incident in the city, the seven serial blasts occurred within a span of 10 minutes between Khar Road-Santacruz, Bandra-Khar Road, Jogeshwari-Mahim Junction, Mira Road- Bhayander, Matunga- Mahim Junction and Borivali bound local suburban trains.

Investigations revealed that powerful RDX bombs were used in all the seven first class coaches of Mumbai’s suburban trains on the evening of July 11, 2006.

The MCOCA court concluded the trial on August 19 last year, eight years after the incident as the examination of witnesses could only resume after two years as the trial was stayed by the Supreme Court in 2008 pending few appeals. The Supreme Court had finally vacated the stay on April 23, 2010.

(With inputs from the PTI)