12 convicted for deadly 2006 Mumbai blasts

  • 12/09/2015
Indian police officers escort one of the accused involved in the bombings (AAP)
Indian police officers escort one of the accused involved in the bombings (AAP)

An Indian court has convicted 12 people over a series of blasts that ripped through packed commuter trains in the financial capital Mumbai in 2006, killing nearly 200 people and wounding many more.

The men were convicted of murder, conspiracy and waging war against the country over the co-ordinated series of attacks during the evening peak hour that also injured more than 800 people.

The Press Trust of India news agency said the Mumbai sessions court had acquitted one person and convicted 12 after a trial that has lasted nine years and concluded on August 19 last year.

Sentencing will be on Monday (local time) and prosecution lawyer Raja Thakare said he wanted "the strictest possible punishment" for those convicted.

"Whatever sentence the judge hands out, it should be able to satisfy the public at large," he told AFP by phone.

Lawyer Shahid Nadeem, who represented all 13 defendants in the case, said the prosecution had failed to provide evidence that Abdul Wahid Shaikh, who was acquitted, had played any role in the blasts.

He said he would appeal against the convictions of the other 12.

"We are not satisfied with the judgment and will approach High Court against the convictions," he said.

In all, police charged 30 people over the bombings, including 13 Pakistani nationals, who along with four Indian suspects have yet to be arrested.

Seven blasts ripped through the suburban trains during the peak hour in July 2006.

The bombs were packed into pressure cookers then placed in bags and hidden under newspapers and umbrellas in the trains.

Prosecutors said the devices were assembled in Mumbai and deliberately placed in first-class coaches to target the city's wealthy Gujarati community.

They said the bombings were intended as revenge for the riots in the western state of Gujarat in 2002, which left some 2000 people dead, most of them Muslims.

Prosecutors accused Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba of being behind the 2006 attacks, although a little known outfit called the Lashkar-e-Qahhar claimed responsibility.