This Article is From Sep 30, 2015

5 Sentenced to Death for 2006 Mumbai Train Blasts

Five people were sentenced to death today for planting bombs on Mumbai's local trains in July 2006, which killed 189 people and left over 800 injured.

Seven of 12 men convicted for the train blasts have been given a life term.

The convicts were found guilty of terrorist activities and mass murder earlier this month.

The prosecution had asked for the death sentence for eight of the convicts, calling them "merchants of death."

Seven blasts had ripped through first class compartments on Mumbai's local trains in 11 minutes on the evening of July 11, 2006. The blasts took place during rush hour between 6:24 and 6:35 pm.

The RDX bombs were kept in pressure cookers and were placed in trains on the Western line.

Thirteen men were arrested on various charges including transporting and planting the bombs and harbouring terrorists at their homes. One person was acquitted.

The police say 15 people accused in what came to be called the 7/11 bombings are still missing, among them the masterminds of the terror plot. In their chargesheet, the police named Pakistani nationals and members of the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Arguing against the convicts' plea for leniency because of their background and education, the prosecutor had said: "Yakub Memon was a chartered accountant with impeccable antecedents but even he was not shown mercy. Why should this case be any different?" Yakub Memon was hanged on July 30, for his role in the 1993 serial blasts case.

The Supreme Court had stayed trial in the case in 2008 as it heard a petition by the accused, who had challenged the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act or MCOCA under which they were charged.

Trial resumed two years later, after a go-ahead from the Supreme Court. The Special MCOCA court finished trial in August last year.