Mumbai: 11/7 convicts turn to Gandhi, yoga and families for leniency

On Monday, when the Special MCOCA court asked the 12 men convicted in the 11/7 blasts what they had to say about the quantum of sentence, all of them asked for a lenient sentence.

Mumbai: Only man to walk free in 11/7 case to seek compensation from state

Ten of the 12 convicted for the 11/7 train blasts being led to court yesterday. Pic/PTI
Ten of the 12 convicted for the 11/7 train blasts being led to court yesterday. Pic/PTI

While some said they needed to take care of their families or serve society, others gave more bizarre reasons, saying they reformed after taking inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi.

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Another claimed he was also one of the victims of the blasts, as he and his family had suffered since then. Judge Yatin D Shinde began the hearing within five minutes of the accused entering the court at 12.20 pm.

The Gandhian
Accused: Asif Khan
Role: Co-conspirator; procured explosive material. Planted the bomb which exploded at Borivli station.
I heard about 11/7 blasts and I felt sad for the victims. But after my arrest my family suffered a lot. I participate in all kinds of reformation like yoga. I am a reformed person after reading 27 books on Mahatma Gandhi from the library in jail. I want to serve humanity. I have donated blood 12 times since then. I forgive the ATS for fabricating evidence against me. In these past nine years, my wife and children have suffered a lot and I hope ATS doesn’t go through the same. I was kept in solitary confinement for two years and my mental state is disturbed because of it.

‘I’m a blast victim too’
Accused: Mohd Sajid Ansari
Role: Electric circuits made by him were used in bomb blasts
I am innocent like those who got bail in the Malegaon blast. The evidence put forward before the court is false and fabricated. I am being falsely implicated. I sympathise with the victims of the blast but I am also a victim of this blast.

‘I have forgotten who I am’
Accused: Muzammil Shaikh
Role: Co-conspirator; surveyed the local trains.
In these nine years, I have forgotten about my profession; I don’t even remember basic things about myself. There is no one to take care of my parents and wife. My brother is also wanted in this case; I don’t know whether he is alive or not. I don’t have any criminal record. I am innocent.

The doctor
Accused: Dr Tanvir Ansari
Role: Co-conspirator; was present when bombs were assembled at Govandi.
I am a doctor. I don’t have any past criminal records. I am not a threat to the community. I have also completed post graduation in Disaster Management in jail.

‘I have a brain tumour’
Accused: Mohd Faisal Shaikh
Role: Co-conspirator; sent youths to Pakistan for training. Harboured the Pakistani accused; received hawala money. Was present when bomb was assembled; planted bomb which exploded at Jogeshwari.
I am innocent. I have spent the last nine years in jail quietly, without complaints. I have a brain tumour and spine problems. My parents are old and there is no one to take care of them as my brother is also in jail.

The family man
Accused: Ehtesham Siddiqui
Role: Co-conspirator; surveyed local trains. Transported Pakistanis to Mumbra. Joint secretary of SIMI in Maharashtra. Was present when bombs were assembled; planted the bomb that exploded at Mira Road.
I started studying in jail — I am currently pursuing the second year of LLB. My family is poor and there is no one to look after them.

The student
Accused: Mohd Majid Shafi
Role: Transported Pakistanis from Bangladesh border to Mumbai and took them back to Bangladesh after the blasts.
My wife is going through lot of health problems. Her kidneys have failed and her eyes also have problems. My mother is over 75 years old with a lot of health problems. I used to work at my footwear shop. Except my wife, who is a doctor, no one in my family is educated. Now, I am studying a Bachelor of Arts course, first year. I don’t have any criminal records. I tried to help others improve in jail.

‘I wanted to do good’
Accused: Md Ali Alam Shaikh
Role: Provided his house where the bombs were assembled.
I used to be a hawker. I tried to do some social work, but people did not like it, and now I am being repaid by being dragged into this big case. I was illegally detained which is when I lost my mother. My father suffered heart attack thrice. After my arrest I was tortured by police and even today I have those injuries. In jail, I completed my HSC studies and Arts graduation and have now taken admission in an MA course.

The worried father
Accused: Kamal Ansari
Role: Transported Pakistanis from Nepal’s border to Mumbai. Procured explosive materials and planted the bomb which exploded at Matunga station. I have five small kids there is no one to look after them. I pray for a lenient sentence.

‘Suffered nine years’
Accused: Soheil Shaikh
Role: Co-conspirator; surveyed the local trains.
Before my arrest I was serving people and I am doing that in jail also. While in jail, I learnt acupressure and cryotherapy. I am also pursuing a BA course. I have suffered a lot in nine years. I lost my mother and father while I was in jail. My son was in 12th standard and couldn’t study further. My wife is suffering from health problems.

‘Want to help people’
Accused: Zamir Ahmad Shaikh
Role: Co-conspirator; surveyed the local trains.
I have completed my first year of post graduation. I plan to help people with my degree in Disaster Management once I get out of jail. My father is 75 years old and has no vision in one eye. He is still working to support my family. Please call my father and see what his condition is. My brother was a taxi driver but he is injured now. I am not a bad person. I have no criminal record.

‘Law-abiding man’
Accused: Naveed Khan
Role: Transported bombs from Govandi to Bandra. Surveyed trains and planted the bomb that exploded at Khar station. I am a responsible and law abiding citizen of India. I don’t have a criminal record. I have faith in the judiciary. I belong to an educated family; my late mother was the vice-principal of an institution. My father works in Kuwait, brother works with the press. I am planning to study Law. My conduct in jail has been impeccable, which even the superintendent can testify.

Read Story: Conspiracy was hatched four years before the 11/7 Mumbai train blasts

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