Mumbai's special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Wednesday gave death setence to five of the 12 men convicted in the 2006 serial train blasts case. The rest seven convicts have been awarded life imprisonment.

Mohd Faisal Shaikh, 36, Asif Khan, 38, Kamal Ahamed Ansari, 37, Ehtesham Siddiqui, 30, and Naveed Hussain Khan, 30, was awarded death sentence. 

Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakre had on 23 September sought death penalty for eight convicts and life imprisonment for the remaining four during the hearing on quantum of punishment.

Thakre had sought death penalty for Tanvir Ahmed Ansari, 37, Shaikh Alam Shaikh, 41, Mohd Sajid Ansari, 34, as well. However these three convicts along with four others – Mohammad Majid Shafi, 32, Muzzammil Shaikh, 27, Soheil Mehmood Shaikh, 43, and Zamir Ahmad Shaikh, 36, – have been given life sentence.

The legal adviser of the convicts said that he will move the High Court against MCOCA court's verdict.

The special court had on 11 September convicted 12 of the 13 accused in the 7/11 Mumbai train bombings. Abdul Wahid Din Mohhamad Shaikh, 34, accused number eight in the case, was acquitted.

The accused were found guilty of various charges under the Indian Penal Code, MCOCA, Indian Railways Act, Explosives Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, along with murder charges. All 12 convicts were found guilty under MCOCA's Sec. 3-1(1) – both attracting the death penalty, Thakre had said earlier.

Even after nine years of the blasts, 17 more accused, including Azam Chima who is suspected to have links with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), are absconding. Of these 17 absconders, 13 are Pakistani nationals.

At least 188 people were killed and 829 injured when seven RDX bombs kept in seven first-class compartments of Mumbai local trains on various stretches went off on 11 July, 2006.

The bombs kept in pressure cookers on the north-bound trains exploded at or near Khar Road-Santacruz, Bandra-Khar Road, Jogeshwari-Mahim Junction, Mira Road-Bhayander, Matunga-Mahim Junction and Borivali in a span of 11 minutes.

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested the 13 accused between 20 July, 2006 and 3 October, 2006. The ATS had claimed that the suspects belong to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), LeT and the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

The hearing into the case began in June 2007, but it was stayed in February 2008 when Kamal Ahamed Ansari (accused) filed a peition claiming that the phrase – promoting insurgency – used to define organised crime in MCOCA, is unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court, however, dismissed his petition in April 2010 and trail resumed.