Indian court sentences five to death over 2006 Mumbai blasts: PTI

MUMBAI: An Indian court Wednesday sentenced five people to death for a series of blasts that ripped through packed trains in Mumbai in 2006, killing nearly 200 people, the Press Trust of India reported.


Another seven found guilty of involvement in the attacks were sentenced to life imprisonment by the special court, the news agency said.

Earlier on Sept 11, the court had convicted 12 without announcing their sentences. One suspect was also acquitted.

The 12 men who were convicted have been idetified as Kamal Ansari, Asif Khan, Mohammed Faisal Ataur Rahman Shaikh, Ehtesham Kutubuddin Siddiqui, Naveed Hussain Khan, Tanvir Ansari, Mohammed Majid Shafi, Shaikh Mohammed Ali Alam Shaikh, Mohammeed Ansari, Muzammil Sheikh, Soheil Shaikh and Zameer Shaikh.

Judge Yatin D. Shinde had found them guilty of murder and criminal conspiracy charges.

Seven bombs went off within 15 minutes on the packed trains during the evening rush hour in Mumbai on July 11, 2006. Over the course of the nine-year trial, the court examined nearly 250 witnesses.

Police accused Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) of carrying out the 2006 attacks, although a little known outfit called the Lashkar-e-Qahhar claimed responsibility.

The bombs were placed in bags that were hidden under newspapers and umbrellas in the trains.

Prosecutors said the bombs were assembled in Mumbai and deliberately placed in first-class coaches to target the city’s wealthy Gujarati community.

They said the bombings were intended as revenge for the riots in the western state of Gujarat in 2002, which left some 2,000 people dead, most of them Muslims.

The attacks prompted India to freeze peace talks with Pakistan for several months.