7/11Mumbai Blasts: Justice Delivered, 12 Convicted


Mumbai: A special court on Friday, held twelve accused guilty and acquitted one out of the thirteen accused of orchestrating seven blasts, which ripped through Mumbai Local trains at rush hour on the evening of July 11, 2006, killing 189 people and injuring at least 700.

The RDX bombs were kept in pressure cookers and placed in local trains on the Western line. The blasts occurred between 6.24 and 6.35 pm, when lakhs of office-goers use Mumbai’s local trains to get back home from work.

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), Abdul Wahid Shaikh (34), Muzzammil Shaikh (27), Soheil Mehmood Shaikh (43), Zamir Ahmad Shaikh (36), Naveed Hussain Khan (30), Asif Khan (38) were the accused who were arrested by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

Azam Chima, along with 14 others, is absconding in the case.

Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad or ATS arrested 13 people. They are allegedly members of banned organization, the Students Islamic Movement of India or SIMI. The Mumbai Crime Branch had also arrested 22 alleged operatives of terror organisation Indian Mujahideen soon after the blasts.Nine years after the blasts, 15 accused are still on the run, including, the police say, those who masterminded the blasts. The police say Pakistani nationals and members of the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba were involved.

The Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court finished trial in August last year. The prosecution examined 192 witnesses, the defence lawyers examined 51 witnesses and one person was called in as a court witness. Among the many twists and turns in the case was the testimony of a man called Sadiq Sheikh, believed to be a co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen. Sheikh “confessed,” but later turned hostile.

Sheikh, who was among the 22 people arrested by the Crime Branch, claimed that the Indian Mujahideen was involved in the train blasts. The ATS later disregarded this theory and told the court that nothing in Sadiq Sheikh’s narco-analysis test showed his involvement.

In 2008, the Supreme Court stayed the trial as it heard a petition by the accused, who had challenged the provisions of MCOCA. Trial resumed two years later, after a go-ahead from the Supreme Court.

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