Ex-Mumbai police chief welcomes train blasts case verdict

Former Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy, who had a role in the investigations into the 2006 Mumbai train blasts case, today welcomed the MCOCA court verdict convicting 12 of the 13 accused.

Reacting to the verdict soon after it was pronounced by Judge Yati D Shinde, Roy said he was happy that the court had endorsed the chargesheet submitted after thorough investigations by Mumbai police and Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS).

"I am happy the way investigations were conducted. Investigations were done throughly by the Mumbai Police and the ATS. To start with it was a blind case. We had no clue. But I am satisfied with the verdict. Out of the 13 accused who were tried, 12 have been convicted while one is acquitted," he said, shortly after the MCOCA Court judge Yatin D Shinde pronounced his verdict.

Subash Kamble, who was travelling on a train from Bandra on July 11, 2006, felt the judgement had come too late but expected that the convicts would get the strictest punishment when the quantum of sentence is pronounced on next Monday.

"It is too late. Nine years is a long time... We demand death penalty for the guilty. Those who are still out, government should take swift action and convict them. We will be content when death penalty is awarded to the guilty. People lost their loved ones," Kamble said.

According to the Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare, all the 12 convicted have been found guilty of IPC section 120 (B), criminal conspiracy and IPC Section 302 (murder) and 311 of MCOCA ACT, the last two sections could attract death penalty.

The arguments in quantum of the sentence will begin on Monday. When asked if he was satisfied, he said: "It is not a question of my being happy or unhappy. What really matters... we are concerned with the death of so many people. I want people at large to should be satisfied."

Nine years after seven RDX bombs kept in Mumbai suburban trains exploded killing 188 people, a MCOCA court here today convicted 12 persons in the serial blasts case.

Meanwhile, setting aside their political differences, the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress and NCP welcomed the court verdict.

Both the BJP and NCP demanded that terror cases should be fast-tracked to give justice to the affected people. BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, "This judgement speaks volumes of the country's resolve against terrorism."

"It has been almost 10 years after which the judgement has been pronounced. We hope that in future justice is given to victims much faster so that the bereaved families are assured that the state will not tolerate terrorism of any kind," he said.

Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam, while welcoming the verdict, said such convictions only strengthen the people's resolve in the country's judiciary.

"I welcome the MCOCA court's verdict. Such convictions strengthen the country and anti-terror agencies to fight against terrorism in future," he said. "When the courts convict those proved to be involved in a terror attack, it strengthens the people's resolve in the judiciary of the nation," Nirupam said.

Mumbai NCP unit chief Sachin Ahir said the verdict should have been pronounced much earlier. "Though late, justice has prevailed. If this verdict would have come earlier, those affected by these attacks would have probably been much happier. Though our judiciary is capable of bringing such cases to a logical conclusion, these cases of terror need to be fast-tracked," Ahir said. He said cases of atrocities against women also need to be fast-tracked as the perpetrators of such attacks are a "threat to the integrity of women."

"The atrocities against women, specially rapes, are a threat to the integrity of women. Likewise, perpetrators should be treated as a threat to society and given an appropriate sentence within a fixed period of time," he added.

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