Death sentence for 5: 7/11 Mumbai train blasts
The quantum of punishment for the accused in the Mumbai train blast case which occurred in the suburban railway-compartments in 2006 was announced today. 5 accused who planted the bomb were awarded the death sentence. The other 7 co-conspirators who were involved in providing space for the bomb-making along with developing timers and electric circuits used in the bomb were sentenced to life imprisonment.
On 11 July 2006, seven bomb blast on the Suburban Railway in Mumbai shook the entire nation. The bombs were placed inside pressure cookers (for more serious impact) and lasted for entire 11 minutes. The bombs went off near the Matunga Road, Bandra, Mahim, Khar Road, Jogeshwari, Bhayandar and Boriwali vicinity, killing 209 people in its wake and injuring another 700.
The Mumbai police arrested three men for the 7/11 blasts on 21 July 2006. All three were said to belong to the banned SIMI organisation and had links with Nepal and Pakistan. The police questioned hundreds of people in relation to the blasts and detained about 300 people. A number of Muslim orgainisations protested against the police singling out Muslims for the blasts.
The case hit a major hurdle in February 2008 when the Supreme Court stayed the trial. Kamal Ansari, one of the 13 accused had claimed that "the phrase 'promoting insurgency' in the definition of organized crime in MCOCA was unconstitutional." What it essentially meant was that the case fell under anti-insurgency laws and only the Parliament was competent enough to enact laws coming under it.
In April 2010, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition and the trial was resumed after 2 years of stay.
On 27 February 2009, Sadiq Sheikh, Indian Mujahideen's arrested leader confessed to his alleged role in the 7/11 bombings. He said that he had planned the pressure cooker bombs with his helpers in a flat in central Mumbai. This came as a huge embarrassment as the Mumbai police had hinted at ISI and SIMI involvement.
On 6 April 2013, Indian Mujahideen co-founder Sadiq Sheikh who had earlier directed the blasts towards himself was declared as a hostile witness by defence advocates.
The 7/11 Mumbai train blast case was concluded in the Special Maharashtra control of Organised Crime Act court convicting 12 people on 19 August 2014. The judge set September 19 as the tentative date for passing the judgment. The prosecution had questioned 200 witnesses in the proceeding, while the defence counsel examined a total of 40 witnesses in the case.
The prime accused in the Mumbai 7/11 blasts had made a witness examination plea in the court which was rejected by the SC after listening to the prosecution and defense counsels. The accused had argued that they were falsely framed. The accused wanted to examine 11 persons as their witnesses including cops who had given confessional statements.
A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court presided by special judge Yatin D Shinde convicted 12 accused under 302 of IPC for the 7/11 Mumbai blasts of 2006. One Abdul Wahid Shaikh was acquitted. The quantum of punishment will be announced on 14 September. The trial which had concluded in August 2014 took almost a year to come to judgement.