- Yes, they deserved it
- No death penalty is inhuman, give them prison for life
A special court on Wednesday sentenced five convicts to death in the 7/11 Mumbai train blasts, and ordered life imprisonment for the remaining seven convicted of carrying out the deadly series of bomb blasts in suburban trains that killed 188 people nine years ago.
Special Judge Yatin D Shinde had last week concluded hearing arguments on the quantum of sentence when prosecution demanded death penalty for eight of the 12 convicts while it sought life imprisonment for the remaining four.
On September 23, the Special MCOCA court had reserved its order on sentencing in the case for September 30.
Earlier, on September 11, it had convicted 12 of the 13 accused, all allegedly having links with banned SIMI, while acquitting one.
The accused were found guilty of charges under IPC, Explosives Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and Indian Railway Act and those under MCOCA.
The court also found all the 12 accused guilty under Section 3 (1) (i) of MCOCA, which could also attract capital punishment.
Those convicted are Kamal Ahamed Ansari (37), Tanvir Ahmed Ansari (37), Mohd Faisal Shaikh (36), Ehtesham Siddiqui (30), Mohammad Majid Shafi (32), Shaikh Alam Shaikh (41), Mohd Sajid Ansari (34),Muzzammil Shaikh (27), Soheil Mehmood Shaikh (43), Zamir Ahmad Shaikh (36), Naveed Hussain Khan (30) and Asif Khan (38).
After 12 accused were found guilty, Judge Shinde, later, allowed the defence lawyers to examine witnesses to bring out the mitigating circumstances in the case.
After the examination of witnesses, the defence advocates pleaded leniency, saying that the 12 convicts were merely the pawns of mastermind Azam Cheema, member of Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba.
They also pointed out that the convicts faced several hardships in jail and that was also one of the mitigating circumstances.
On the other hand, special public prosecutor Raja Thakare called the convicts "merchants of death" and pressed for capital punishment to eight of the twelve convicts.