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.
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)