The five — Kamal Ansari, Faisal Shaikh, Estesham Siddiqui, Naveed Khan and Asif Bashir Khan — were given death penalty for committing murder and criminal conspiracy under Sections 302 and 120B of the IPC, respectively. These culprits are not only the destroyers of mankind, but are extremely infused with Islamic terrorism and are capable of eliminating the very fabric of the society at large. Hence they should not be left, said the Public Prosecutor.
The court, in its order, said: “They shall be hanged by their necks till they are dead.”
However, the five maintained that they were innocent and expressed their faith in higher courts.
The rest were given life imprisonment for offences under MCOCA, UAPA and waging war under Section 121 of the IPC.
“We were hoping for acquittal. …a higher court will acquit them, ” said Sajid Ansari’s wife. He was among those who received life imprisonment.
The MCOCA court recently convicted 12 persons and acquitted Abdul Wahid Din Mohammed Shaikh.
Seven serial blasts ripped through Mumbai’s suburban railway network on July 11, 2006, leaving at least 180 dead and several injured.
Public Prosecutor hails Punishment
Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare had sought death for the eight persons convicted in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts case, but the court awarded it only to five persons.
“I welcome the verdict on punishment. I am happy that the court did not wholly accept the prosecution’s submission and it independently assessed the material and came to its own conclusion,” Mr.Thakare told. The 189th victim of the attack, Parag Sawant, died this July after a long battle with life-threatening injuries. There were initially 13 accused in the case. The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court recently convicted 12 persons in the case, acquitting Abdul Wahid Din Mohammed Shaikh. The convicted will appeal against the trial court verdict in the High Court after receiving a copy of the judgment. “This verdict is the biggest injustice to the victims of the blasts. They have only been shown a picture of justice. The citizens and victims should know what went in the name of giving justice to them. We are 101 per cent sure that we will get justice from the High Court,” defence lawyer Wahab Khan said.
A look at the role of convicts in the case
From arranging logistics for carrying out the 11 July, 2006 train bombings to conducting recce of suburban trains, the accused had the task cut out for them to precision, as per the chargesheet filed by Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
Nine years after seven RDX bombs ripped through as many local trains, killing 189 people and injuring over 800, special judge Yatin D Shinde on Wednesday pronounced capital punishment for Kamal Ahamed Ansari (37), Mohammed Faisal Shaikh (36), Ehtesham Siddiqui (30), Naveed Hussain Khan (30) and Asif Khan (38), all of them bomb planters.
The remaining seven, who were given life imprisonment, are Tanvir Ahmed Ansari (37), Mohammad Majid Shafi (32), Shaikh Alam Shaikh (41), Mohd Sajid Ansari (34), Muzzammil Shaikh (27), Soheil Mehmood Shaikh (43) and Zamir Ahmad Shaikh (36).
As per the chargesheet filed in 2006, Kamal Ahamed Ansari transported Pakistani nationals to Mumbai via Nepal border, procured explosives, attended training in Pakistan and also planted a bomb in a local train, which exploded at Matunga
railway station on the fateful day.
On the role played by Mohd Faisal Shaikh, the ATS said he not only went to Pakistan twice for training, but had also sent youths to that country for training purpose. He had also attended conspiracy meetings besides giving shelter to Pakistani nationals. Shaikh received money through hawala route. He also planted a bomb in a suburban train, which exploded in Jogeshwari.
Ehtesham Kutubuddin Siddiqui was the joint secretary of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for Maharashtra at the time of the bombings. Besides attending conspiracy meetings, Siddiqui also conducted reconnaissance of local trains. He was also present when bombs were made. He planted an explosive in a local train, which exploded at Mira Road station.
According to ATS, Muzammil Shaikh, Sohail Mehmood Shaikh, Zamir Ahmed Shaikh and Naveed Hussain Khan attended conspiracy meetings and also surveyed local trains, while Naveed planted a bomb in a train, which exploded at Khar station.
The chargesheet said that Asif Khan had procured explosive material and planted a bomb, which exploded at Borivali station.
Tanvir Ahmed, who also underwent training in Pakistan, attended conspiracy meetings to carry out blasts. He was also present at the time of assembling bombs at suburban Govandi, the chargesheet stated.
The chargesheet said Mohammed Majid Shafi had arranged for transportation of Pakistani nationals to Mumbai via Bangladesh border and back after blasts. It said that Shaikh Alam provided his house in Govandi for making bombs, while Mohammed Sajid Ansari assembled electric circuit, which was used to trigger bombs.
Thirteen Pakistani nationals, who also played active role in the blasts are still absconding.