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Indian court sentences five to death in 2006 train blasts

A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court has sentenced five people to death for the 2006 train bombings in Mumbai, India.

Seven other people have been given life sentences.

The verdict came two weeks after all the 12 were found guilty in the serial bombing of local trains.

The serial blasts, which took place in seven packed trains in a span of 11min, killed nearly 200 and injured more than 800 commuters.

MCOCA court judge Yatin Shinde sentenced to death Asif Khan, Ehtesham Siddiqui, Faisal Atur Rahman Shaikh, Kamal Ansari and Naveed Khan for planting the bombs in the trains.

Life sentences were given to Tanvir Ahmed Ansari, Mohammad Majid Shafi, Shaikh Alam Shaikh, Mohd Sajid Ansari, Muzzammil Shaikh, Soheil Mehmood Shaikh and Zamir Ahmad Shaikh, for providing materials and logistical support for making the bombs.

Mumbai’s suburban train system carries more than eight million commuters a day.

More than 200 witnesses were examined during the eight-year long trial, which was concluded in August last year.

As part of the investigations, 13 accused were brought to trial, but one was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

The convicts are alleged to be members of the banned Indian terror outfit Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

The Indian Government has accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba of helping SIMI in executing the blasts.

The bombs, packed into pressure cookers, exploded in the areas of Matunga, Khar, Mahim, Jogeshwari, Borivali and Mira Road during the evening rush hour. Seven blasts occurred on moving trains and two when the trains were halted at stations.

The convicts have an option to appeal the verdict in the higher courts.

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