India sentences 5 to death for 2006 Mumbai train bombing
An Indian court on Wednesday sentenced five suspected Islamic militants to death and gave seven others life in prison for bombing attacks nine years ago on seven Mumbai commuter trains that killed 188 people and wounded more than 800.
Judge Y.D. Shinde, who convicted them earlier this month for murder and a criminal conspiracy to wage war against the government, imposed deaths sentences on five of the men who the prosecution said had planted the explosives on the trains.
Seven bombs exploded during a 10-minute span during the evening rush hour in July 2006 in Mumbai, the financial and entertainment capital of India.
A defense attorney said he would appeal the Mumbai court verdict.
The trial in India’s notoriously slow justice system lasted more than seven years. One person was acquitted for lack of evidence.
Prosecutors said the attack was hatched by Pakistan’s Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence and carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives with help from the Students’ Islamic Movement of India, a banned militant organization. Pakistan has denied the charges.
Lashkar-e-Taiba is a Pakistanbased Islamic militant group.
The 12 convicted men were believed to belong to the Indian militant group.
K.P. Raghuvanshi, a police officer who investigated the case, said one Pakistani suspect was killed in the blasts and another was shot dead by Indian police. But there was no independent confirmation of his claim.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training Islamic insurgents, a charge Pakistan denies.
The neighboring countries have fought three wars, two of them over control of disputed Kashmir, since their independence from the UK in 1947 and have been engaged in a fitful peace process in recent years.
One of the men accused in the 2006 Mumbai train bombings looks from a police van as he is taken from a prison to a court in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Sept. 30.