A court in the western Indian state of Gujarat has sentenced 36 people to death in connection with a series of bombings in Ahmedabad in 2006. In addition, 11 others have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
The court also ordered each convict to pay Rs 1 lakh to the families of the victims of the attack; The remaining 27 accused in the case have been acquitted.
The verdict was announced by AR Patel, a special judge of a judge’s court in Ahmedabad, on Friday, the BBC reported.
On July 17, 2006, 20 bombs exploded simultaneously in residential areas, hospitals, public transport and commercial areas of Ahmedabad. It killed 57 people and injured hundreds more.
The Indian Mujahideen, a banned Islamic militant group in India, claimed responsibility for the attack. At the time, however, the organization was little known. The group was banned by the Indian government in 2010 after a bomb attack on a bakery factory in Maharashtra’s Pune district. Sixteen people were killed in the attack.
The trial began in 2006 in the Ahmedabad Judge’s Court, with six people accused of involvement in the Ahmedabad bombings. At one stage of the trial, an accused named Ayaz Saeed became a witness.
According to the BBC, quoting Indian media, a total of 1,173 people testified during the trial.
However, the convicts can appeal against the lower court’s verdict in the Gujarat High Court. Defendant’s lawyer Khalid Sheikh said they would appeal to the High Court.
“The convicts have already spent 13 years in prison,” he told Reuters. But the judge sentenced them to death. We will appeal to the High Court.
An official at the jail where the accused were being held during the trial told the BBC that some of the accused had tried to escape from the jail by digging a secret tunnel once in 2013; But the prison officials realized that the attempt was not successful.