11/7 train bombings trial resumes


Like the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the serial train bombings, too, were executed by Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) with the active local support from members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

The trial had been stayed by the Supreme Court in February 2008 after one of the accused Kamal Ansari had moved the court challenging the constitutional validity of certain provisions in the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) pertaining to insurgency.

The 13 suspects accused of involvement in the terror attack are members of the SIMI and were charged under the stringent provisions of the MCOCA at that time, in the absence of any anti-terror law.

The prosecution also charged 15 members, all absconding and believed to be LeT operatives, with the train bombings.
The accused standing trial are: Danish Riaz Shaukat Ali Shaikh, Kamal Ahmed Ansari, Khalid Ajij Ronak Ajaj, Mumtaj Choudhary, Ehtesham Siddiqui, Faisal Shaikh, Jameer Ahmed, Muzammil Shaikh, Sohail Mehmood Shaikh, Dr Tanvir Ahmed Mohd Ibrahim Ansari, Firoz Deshmukh, Minaz Nachan and Naved Hussain Khan.

Plea dismissed
The apex court finally dismissed the petition and vacated the stay on the trial on April 25 this year, paving way for resumption of the proceedings.
All 13 accused attended the proceedings on Monday through video-conferencing.
With only one lawyer having consented to appear for the accused so far, special judge Y D Shinde adjourned the case to June 14, directing all accused to appoint a lawyer for themselves within the stipulated time period.
The accused had earlier refused to appoint any lawyer to defend them and demanded dropping of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act from the case, so that they were tried in a regular sessions court.

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