The Mumbai Blasts Case 2006
All 12 convicts face a maximum punishment of death and a minimum of life in jail for their role in the plot which was hatched in Pakistan. The investigators had said the bombings were designed by the Pak-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which used banned Indian outfit SIMI, to execute their plan. According to the police, 10 members of the LeT had brought around 15-20kg RDX with them from Pakistan and made bombs using the deadly explosive. They used young Indians to execute their terror plot. The 13 accused have been in prison for seven years already as the trial against them has proceeded.
Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court judge Yatin Shinde read out sections of the Indian Penal Code (Sec 302), MCOCA [Sec 3(1) (i)] and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act before pronouncing the verdict, which did not provoke any outward expression of emotion from any of the accused, who range in age from 33 to 46. The trial in the case concluded in August 2014, leaving a little over a year for the pronouncement of the judgment.
Other sections under which they are convicted come under the Explosives Act, Explosive Substances Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, and Railways Act.
Abdul Sheikh, who was the only one to be acquitted, had been charged with harbouring a Pakistani national at his Mumbra house.
- Kamal Ansari (Chicken Seller)
- Dr. Tanveer Ansari (Unani doctor)
- Mohd. Ali Shaikh (Unani Medicine seller)
- Ehtesham Sidduqui (Religious book writer)
- Mohd. Shafi (Footwear shop owner)
- Faisal Shaikh (School dropout)
- Sajid Ansari (Mobile repairer)
- Muzammil Shaikh (Software engineer)
- Sohail Shaikh (Tailor)
- Zameer Shaikh (Key maker)
- Naveed Khan (Sales Manager)
- Asif Khan (Civil engineering diploma holder)
Seven blasts in crowded Mumbai local trains took place on the evening of 11 July 2006 in which a total of 189 persons were killed. Over 820 people were injured in the blasts.
The blasts took place at Mahim and Matunga in central Mumbai and at Khar Road, Bandra, Jogeshwari, Mira Road and Borivali in the northern suburbs. All the blasts took place on the Western Railways line of the city’s suburban rail network. The blasts were allegedly engineered using a mixture of RDX and ammonium nitrate. The explosive mixture was allegedly packed into seven bags which were then placed in pressure cooker in trains leaving from Church gate in south Mumbai for the suburbs. The bombs were planted in the first class coaches of the trains.
Some 350 people were detained 36 hours after the incident in Maharashtra- police claim that these people rounded up for investigations. On 14 July, Lashkar-e-Qahhar, a terrorist organization possibly linked to lashkar-e-taiba, claimed responsibility for the bombings. In an e-mail, to an Indian TV channel, the outfit says it organized the bombings using 16 people who are all “safe”. According to the e-mail, the main motive seems to have been a retaliation to the situation in the Gujarat and Kashmir regions, possibly referring to the alleged oppression of Muslim minorities in certain parts of the region. It also says that the blasts were part of series of attacks aimed at other sites such as the Mumbai international airport, Gateway of India, The Taj Mahal in Agra and The Red Fort in New Delhi. The authorities invested this claim and tried to track the location of the e-mail sender. However, on 17th July, the forensic science laboratory, Mumbai has confirmed the use of a mixture of the highly explosive RDX and ammonium nitrate for the bombings. The presence of these explosives in the post explosive debris was confirmed by modern techniques such as Liquid Chromatography with mass detector (LCMS), gas chromatography with mass detector (GCMS) and Ion Scan Chromatography. Officials said the prosecution examined 192 witnesses and the defence examined 51 while over 5500-pages of evidence was produced in the case.
Timeline of the case
- 11th July 2006 – Seven bombs go off in trains at Matunga road (6.24pm), Mahim (6.23pm), Bandra (6.23pm), Khar Road(6.25pm), Jogeshwari(6.24pm), Borivali(6.28pm) and Mira Road(6.31pm) stations spanning Mumbai and Thane districts. Besides claiming 189 lives, the serial blasts leave 820 injured.
- 21st July 2006 – Police arrest three persons in connection with the blasts. The anti-terrorist squad (ATS) claims the suspects were Pakistan’s ISI, Lashkar-e-taiba and the banned SIMI, who were involved in the conspiracy, planning and execution of the terror attacks.
- 30th November 2006 – ATS files a charge sheet; 13 arrested accused and 15 absconding accused are charged under the Maharashtra Control Of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA)
- 21st June 2007 – Trial starts in June 2007, but is stayed in February 2008 after one of the 13 accused, Kamal Ansari challenges the phrase ‘promoting insurgency’ in defining organized crime in the MCOCA as ‘unconstitutional’.
- 23rd September 2008 – The Mumbai Crime branch arrests 5 Indian Mujahedeen operatives. Investigation by crime branch shows IM carried out the bombings, contradicting the ATS’ claim that Pakistani nationals also planted bombs.
- 13th February 2010 – Lawyer Shahid Azmi, who defended some of the accused in the 7/11 blasts case, shot dead at his office in central Mumbai.
- 23rd April 2010 – The Supreme Court vacates the stay on trial.
- 23rd June 2010 – Media barred from entering court conducting the trial in the case.
- 30th Aug 2013 – Co-founder of IM, Yasin Bhatkal is arrested. He says the 7/11 bombings were carried out by his outfits in retaliation to the 2002 riots.
- 20th Aug 2014 – The 8 year long trial concludes on August19, 2014 and special Judge YD Shinde pronounces his judgment.
- 11th September 2015 – 12 people are convicted in the 7/11 serial blasts case by special court, one accused is acquitted.