MUMBAI, Sept 30 (IANS): A Mumbai special court on Wednesday awarded death penalty to five and life sentence to seven others, all convicted in the 7/11 serial blasts in Mumbai suburban trains which killed 189 people.
On September 11, Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Judge Y.D. Shinde found all the 12 prosecuted men guilty of their role in the July 11, 2006, serial blasts in the suburban trains - Mumbai's lifeline - which also left injured 817 peak-hour commuters rushing home that rainy evening.
Those awarded the death penalty are: Kamal A. Ansari, 37, Ehtesham Siddiqui, 30, Faisal Attaur Rehman Sheikh, 36, Asif Khan alias Junaid, 38, and Naved Hussain Khan, 30.
The seven other convicts awarded life in jail are: medico Tanvir A. Ansari, 37, Mohammed Sajid Ansari, 34, Sheikh Mohammed Ali Alam Sheikh, 40, Mohammed Majid Shafi, 30, Muzammil Sheikh, 27, Soheil Mohammed Sheikh, 43, and Zamir Ahmed Sheikh, 36.
During the prolonged, nearly three weeks of arguments on the quantum of sentence of the convicts, Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakre demanded death penalty for eight of the 12 convicts, terming them as "merchants of death".
A teacher, Abdul Wahid Sheikh, was the lone accused who was acquitted after the trial, while prime accused Azam Chima, alleged to be linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), is among the 17 who escaped and are on the run. The 17 include 13 Pakistani nationals.