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Mumbai serial blasts: 5 awarded death, 7 get life

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Police investigate near a train destroyed by a bomb blast at Mahim railway station in Mumbai, India, in this July 11, 2006, photo in a suspected act of terrorism that killed 207 people. Asia's booming giants, China and India, confront daunting challenges as they strive to keep their economies expanding fast enough to raise growing numbers of their 2.3 billion people out of poverty. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

NewsGram News Desk

New Delhi: A special MCOCA court sentenced five convicts to death while seven others were awarded life imprisonment in the Mumbai serial blasts case on Wednesday. At least 188 people were killed and over 800 got injured in the train blasts that ripped the Mumbai Locals apart in a chain of explosions on July 11, 2006.

Those sentenced to death include Md Faisal Sheikh, Naved Hussain KHan, Asif Khan, Ehtesham Siddiqui, and Kamal A Ansari.

The prosecution had demanded death for eight of the 12 convicts, however, the court awarded the maximum sentence to five. All the five were involved in planting bombs inside the trains.

Seven others were served life sentence in the Mumbai serial blasts case when seven RDX planted in Mumbai locals exploded, killing and injuring over a thousand commuters.

The family members of the convicts were not happy with the judgement and said they will move High Court as this was not what they expected.

Earlier, Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakre, terming all the 12 convicts “merchants of death”, sought the death penalty for eight and life imprisonment for the remaining four at the Special MCOCA Court.

On September 11, Special MCOCA Judge YD Shinde found guilty 12 of the 13 accused for the suburban train blasts during the peak hours of the rainy evening of July 11, 2006.

Thakre sought death penalty for Kamal A. Ansari (37), medico Tanvir A. Ansari (37), Mohammed Sajid Ansari (34), Sheikh Mohammed Ali Alam Sheikh (40), Mohammed Faisal Sheikh (36), Ehteshan Siddiqui (30), Asif Khan alias Junaid (38), and Naved Hussain Khan (30).

He sought life term for Mohammed Majid Shafi (30), Muzammil Sheikh (27), Soheil Mohammed Sheikh (43), Zamir Ahmed Sheikh (36).

Thakre submitted before the Special Court that these four convicts were found guilty of offences which attract multiple life imprisonments, so they should be sentenced to life till the end of the lives in jail, or not less than 60 years.

Abdul Wahid Sheikh is the lone accused who was acquitted in the case, while another prime accused Azam Chima, alleged to be linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), is among the 17 absconders, that include 13 Pakistani nationals.

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Quantum of sentence in Mumbai train blasts case today

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Mumbai: The quantum of sentence in the Mumbai train blasts case, that ripped the city’s consciousness apart nine years ago, is set to be delivered today by a special MCOCA court, with the prosecution, reportedly, considering to argue death penalty for eight of the 12 convicts.

According to some media reports the prosecution might ask for the maximum punishment, the death penalty, for eight convicts including the bomb planters and the ones who are more educated. Among those with good education are- Dr Tanveer Ansari, Asif Khan Bashir Khan, a civil engineering diploma holder and Mohammed Ali Shaikh, a Unani medicine seller. Reports say that those convicts with slightly lesser hand in the blasts might be shown leniency

Off_the_railsThe Mumbai train blasts resulted in the death of 189 commuters as RDX explosives blew seven Western Railway suburban trains.

Earlier, an eight-year-long trial concluded on August 19, 2014 and Special Judge Y.D. Shinde is set to pronounce his judgement against 13 prime accused in the case which left Mumbai dazed.

Special Judge Shinde has directed the police to produce all accused before the court before noon on Friday.

 

Over 800 people were left severely injured apart from the 189 people who lost their lives on the evening of July 11, 2006, from 6.23 p.m. onwards – the peak hour when the suburban trains are choked with commuters going home.

The seven bombs went off in trains at Matunga Road, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Road, Jogeshwari, Borivali and Mira Road stations spanning Mumbai and Thane districts.

The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) had claimed that the suspects were Pakistan’s ISI, Lashkar-e-Taiba and the banned SIMI, who were involved in the conspiracy, planning and execution of the terror attacks.

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 Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) as ‘unconstitutional’.

In April 2010, the SC dismissed his petition and paved the way for the trial to resume.

Later, in December 2012, the Bombay High Court directed the police to grant access to telephone call date records which pointed out that four of those who are alleged to have planted it were not in the vicinity of Churchgate station or the blasts sites that evening.

The 13 accused are: Kamal Ansari, Dr. Tanvir Ansari, Mohammed Faisal Sheikh, Ehtesham Siddiqui, Mohammed Majid Shafi, Sheikh Mohammed Ali Alam Sheikh, Mohammed Sajid Ansari, Abdul Sheikh, Muzammil Sheikh, Soheil Sheikh, Zameer Sheikh, Naveed Hussein Khan and Asif Khan alias Junaid.

The ATS alleged that some of them were in contact with the LeT in Pakistan and had carried out the blasts.

Police said that highly sophisticated explosives ripped through mainly the first class compartments of the seven local trains, all headed in the northern direction.

While two blasts occurred when the crowded trains neared Borivali and Mahim stations, the others took place when they were leaving the stations or while running to their destinations.

The explosions carried out by around 15-20 kg of RDX, were so powerful that they blew off the double-layered steel roofs and walls of the seven train compartments.

During the marathon trial, the prosecution produced 188 witnesses, including many commuters, survivors, doctors, police personnel and others, with their deposition running into nearly 5,500 pages.

The lengthy trial saw the deposition by around 190 prosecution witnesses, among whom were commuters who were on the ill-fated trains.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Last surviving victim of 2006 Mumbai blasts dies

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Mumbai: After remaining in a coma for several years, the last of the injured survivors of serial blasts on Mumbai suburban trains on July 11, 2006, died here early Tuesday, officials said.

A Bhayander resident, Parag Sawant, 36, had sustained serious head injuries and brain trauma in a blast on one such train.

He is survived by his wife Priti and eight-year-old daughter Praniti. Sawant never saw his only child as she was born after he went into a coma. His wife was given a job in the Indian Railways to help sustain the family.

During is long stay at the hospital, Parag Sawant became a popular figure among the people for his will to live. He regained consciousness briefly in 2008, and was visited by personalities like former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani and union minister Sushma Swaraj.

The 7/11 serial blasts on Mumbai suburban trains were carried out in a time span of barely 11 minutes, targetting crowded suburban train services during evening peak hours.

As many as 209 commuters were killed and more than 700 others injured as bombs kept in pressure cookers went off in north-bound locals of the Western Railway at Bhayander, Borivali, Jogeshwari, Khar Road, Bandra, Mahim and Matunga Road. One unexploded bomb was found by police and defused at Borivali.

Then aged 27, Sawant was travelling in a Churchgate-Virar train to his home when a bomb ripped apart a coach near Bhayander, a suburban town in adjoining Thane district.

He was rushed to Bhaktivedanta Hospital on Mira Road and later shifted to P.D. Hinduja Hospital in south Mumbai.

He remained in a coma for about two years, said consultant neurosurgeon Dr. B.K. Misra, who attended on him.

“His condition gradually improved to a semi-conscious state, in which he understood simple commands. He underwent multiple operations for brain treatment and was thereafter on supportive care and physiotherapy for a few years,” Misra recalled.

A nurse had checked on Sawant early Tuesday, and found him stable. However, at around 6 a.m., the oxygen level in his blood dropped and he was put on oxygen to stabilise his breathing.

“He suffered sudden cardio-respiratory arrest, after which a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation team took all measures to revive him but in vain. Parag Sawant was declared dead at 6:54 a.m due to cardio-respiratory arrest. The most likely cause of immediate deterioration in his condition is pulmonary embolism,” Misra said.

Hospital director and senior medico Sanjay Agarwala said the staff rendered utmost care to Sawant during his stay at the hospital for almost nine years.

“I am sad to hear the news. In fact, last week, I was discussing with his family members my plans to visit Parag at the hospital on the ninth anniversary of the 7/11 blasts on Saturday. His family and Parag took the tragedy bravely,” said Kirit Somaiya, BJP parliamentarian from Mumbai North-East.

(With inputs from IANS)