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Mumbai Court Convicts 12 for Train Blasts

  • Anjana Pasricha

An accused man (face covered), surrounded by Indian policemen, is taken to a court in Mumbai, India, Sept. 11, 2015.

An accused man (face covered), surrounded by Indian policemen, is taken to a court in Mumbai, India, Sept. 11, 2015.

In India, a court in the financial hub of Mumbai has convicted 12 men for a series of blasts that ripped through local trains in the city nine years ago, killing 188 people and wounding more than 800 others.

Judge Yatin D. Shinde Friday pronounced the guilty verdict for 12 of the 13 men who were standing trial at a special court in Mumbai for the July 2006 blasts. One man was acquitted.

They had been charged with murder, conspiracy and waging war against the nation.

Although India’s financial hub has been the target of several terror attacks, the 2006 blasts were one of the deadliest in Mumbai.

Seven coordinated explosions during the evening rush hour in first class compartments of several trains had caused death and destruction within less than 15 minutes.

FILE - Police investigate near a train destroyed by a bomb blast at Mahim railway station in Mumbai, India, July 11, 2006.

FILE - Police investigate near a train destroyed by a bomb blast at Mahim railway station in Mumbai, India, July 11, 2006.

The prosecution said that improvised explosive devices kept in household utensils such as pressure cookers were used to trigger the blasts.

Mumbai’s suburban train network is one of the world’s busiest, carrying over seven million passengers daily.

Sentences expected Monday

The sentences for the convicted men are expected to be announced Monday. Public prosecutor, Raja Thakare says he will argue for the strictest punishment.

“Section 311 and 302 of the MCOCA [Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act] Act are the two sections ones which attract death penalty,” he said.

The trial lasted eight years. Former chief of Anti Terror Squad, K.P. Raghuvanshi, said the verdict brings closure to many people. He was part of the probe for several years.

He said he believes that the1,288 people who lost their lives, the approximately 900 who were injured and the many families who were ruined have finally got justice.

Most of those found guilty were members of an outlawed Indian militant group — the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

Authorities in India maintain that the blasts were planned by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence and carried out by operatives of the Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, with the help of SIMI. Pakistan has denied any involvement in the blasts.

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