Mumbai: Nine years after the Mumbai serial train blasts, a special MCOCA court presided by Additional Sessions Judge Y D Shinde today awarded death sentence to five convicts. The remaining seven have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
On September 23, Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakre had sought death penalty for eight of the 12 convicts and life imprisonment for the other 4 convicts.
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Maharashtra (Arshad Madni) has provided legal aid to the accused in this case. The blasts was planned by Bahawalpur-based Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Azam Cheema alias Babaji, who doubles up as an ISI operative. He and his aides took the help of homegrown activists of banned Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi), which over the years have taken shape as Indian Mujahideen (IM).
The lone accused to be acquitted is Abdul Wahid Din Mohammed Shaikh (38) and he has been released from prison. The accused were found guilty under IPC, Explosives Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and Indian Railway Act and those under MCOCA.
The seven blasts – on July 11, 2006, took place in running locals trains between stations at Khar Road-Santacruz, Bandra-Khar Road, Jogeshwari-Mahim Junction, Mira Road- Bhayander, Matunga-Mahim Junction and at Borivali.