The prosecution on Wednesday demanded capital punishment for eight persons of the 12 convicted in the 2006 Mumbai serial train blasts, while it sought life imprisonment for the remaining four even as the special MCOCA court hearing the case reserved its order on sentencing for September 30.
Dubbing all the 12 convicts in the case as 'merchants of death', Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare pressed for death to eight of them. "Considering their role, eight convicts deserve death penalty," he told the court.
Earlier this month, Judge Yatin Shinde convicted 12 accused while acquitting one person in the case. Serial blasts on the suburban local trains on July 11, 2006, killed at least 188 people and left over 800 injured. The convicts for whom death was sought are- Kamal
Ahamed Ansari, Dr Tanvir Ahmed Ansari, Mohammed Faisal Shaikh, Ehtesham Siddiqui, Shaikh Alam Shaikh, Mohammed Sajid Ansari, Naved Hussain Khan and Asif Khan.
For the remaining four convicts-- Mohamid Majid Shafi, Muzzammil Shaikh, Soheil Shaikh and Zamir Ahmed Shaikh--Thakre told the court that it may consider punishment slightly on a different footing than the other eight. "In the event the court finds that these four convicts deserve some leniency then my submission is that, they are found guilty for offences which attract multiple life imprisonments, they should be sentenced to life till their end of their lives or for not less than 60 years," the prosecutor told the court.
"Some of the thinkers pose a question that if they are merchants of death then why people's money should be used for upkeep of these convicts. It's a public cry... Why the honest taxpayers money is burdened," Thakare told the court. The prosecutor also said that the target and the timing chosen for carrying out the blasts are other aggravating circumstances. "It is common knowledge that suburban train from Churchgate to Virar is always fully crowded and during peak hours they are jam-packed. And a bomb blast in a running train or stationary train are bound to cause maximum casualities because of the rush," argued the prosecutor.
Therefore, choosing of time and targets also shows the 'extreme mentality' of the convicts.