2006 Mumbai serial train bombings verdict out: All you need to know

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Nine years after bomb blasts in Mumbai's suburban local trains rocked the nation, the Special MCOCA court on Friday (Sep 11, 2015) convicted 12 out of the 13 accused in the 2006 serial bombings.

While 12 persons were held guilty of conspiring and carrying out the blasts, one person Abdul Wahid Shaikh was acquitted in the case.

Here is all you need to know about the deadly serial blasts which rocked the suburban trains in the metropolis.

2006 Mumbai serial bombings: Explained

Serial Blasts:

  • On evening of July 11, 2006, seven bombs went off in as many local trains, with in a span of 11 minutes, thus bringing the terror back in country's commercial capital. 
  • As many as 209 people were killed and more than 700 people were injured in the serial blasts which were well coordinated ones. The first class compartments of the trains were targetted to script maximum damage.
  • The blasts occured at Mahim, Matunga, Khar, Bandra, Jogeshwari, Mira Road and Borivali stations. All these stations lie on the Western Railways line of Mumbai's suburban rail network.
  • The explosives were placed in pressure cookers to trigger the serial blasts and hit the backbone of city's rail network.
  • The bombs were made with 2-2.5 kg RDX and 3.5-4 kg ammonium nitrate and then were transported to a different location after packing them in pressure cookers.

Mastermind and alleged plotters:

  • Azam Cheema, Lashkar-e-Tayyeba's intelligence chief, along with Raheel Shaikh are said to have masterminded the 7/11 Mumbai serial blasts. 
  • He and 15 others are absconding and it appears as though their status would remain that way.
  • Cheema is a key commander of LeT and apart from orchestrating the 2006 train blasts, he had played a role in the 26/11 attacks as well. 
  • As per police findings, close to 50 people were sent to the LeT's training camp in Pakistan and all of them were trained in bomb making and resisting police interrogation.
  • These militants arrived back in India after crossing the border in groups from Nepal, Bangladesh and Kutch and took shelter in various places across Mumbai.
  • Following this, RDX was brought in from Pakistan via Kandla, Ammonium Nitrate was bought in Mumbai and eight pressure cookers from 2 different shops in Mumbai.
  • On July 11, the terrorists divided themselves in 7 groups, each group carrying one pressure cooker in a black rexine bag covered with newspapers. 
  • The bombers got down at the Churchgate station and then took the subway that connects the platform to board train.

Lashkar-e-Qahhar takes responsibility of blasts:

On July 14, Lashkar-e-Qahhar, a terror outfit possibly linked to LeT, claimed responsibility for the bombings, by sending an e-mail to a private news channel. In the e-mail the outfit said it organised the bombings using 16 people who were all "safe".

Government's reaction:

  • Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil confirmed that a total of 200 people were killed and another 714 others have been injured.
  • Home Minister Shivraj Patil told reporters that authorities had "some" information that an attack was coming, "but place and time was not known".

Investigation and arrests:

  • Investigation in connection with the case began within 24 hours of the blasts. 
  • Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad officer KPS Raghuvanshi split police teams to 7 for seven blasts and started collecting information from the IB and the RAW. Police detained over 400 people, but these were useless leads.
  • Later, while investigating the ATS arrested 13 persons for their alleged involvement in the case. All the accused were linked to terror outfit LeT and banned group Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the police said.
  • All those arrested by ATS are: Faisal Shaikh, Ali Bashir Khan, Mohammad Ali, Majid Shafi, Sajid Ansari, Kamal Ansari, Ethesham Siddiqui, Zameer Shaikh, Sohail Shaikh, Muzammil Shaikh, Tanvir Ansari, Naved Hussain and Abdul Wahid Shaikh. One of the accused, said to be a Pakistani, allegedly died in the blasts.


  • The trial in the case which commenced in 2007 faced several hurdles. The Supreme Court had stayed the trial in 2008 following a plea by one of the accused who challenged the provisions of the MCOCA. The stay was finally vacated in the year 2010.
  • The ATS has filed a chargesheet that runs into over 10,000 pages.
  • The special MCOCA court judge, Yatin Shinde delivered the verdict today (Sep 11) in a case that spanned over for 9 years. The court is yet to deliver the verdict on sentencing.

List of persons convicted:

Among those convicted in the case are Tanvir Ahmed Ansari (37), Mohd Sajid Ansari (35) Ehtesham Siddiqui (30), Kamal Ahamed Ansari (37), Mohd Faisal Shaikh (36), Zamir Ahmad Shaikh (36), Mohammad Majid Shafi (32), Shaikh Alam Shaikh (41), Muzzammil Shaikh (27), Soheil Mehmood Shaikh (43), Naveed Hussain Khan (30) and Asif Khan (38) were convicted for these blasts.

  • One person Abdul Wahid Shaikh has been acquitted in the case as the charges against him could not be proven by the prosecution.
  • All those convicted are expected to move the Bombay High Court against the conviction in the case.
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