Five sentenced to life imprisonment in Bodh Gaya serial blasts case

PATNA: All the accused terrorists were pronounced life imprisonment on Friday by the Special NIA Court in Patna. While hearing all the punishments of all the convicted terrorists, the special court of NIA has imposed a fine of 40 thousand INR for each, along with life imprisonment.

The court of additional district judge Manoj Kumar Sinha awarded the punishment to all five Indian Mujahideen militants — Umer Siddiqui (39), Azaharuddin Qureshi (25), Imtiyaz Ansari alias Alam (35), Haider Ali alias Black Beauty (30) and Mujibullah Ansari (28). They were held guilty under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 153A (promoting enmity among different groups on grounds of religion, sect and place of birth) and various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act.

After 8 AM on Friday, all the accused in the blast were brought to NIA Court from Beaur Jail in Patna. Due to the case being sensitive, security from prison to court was increased. The Dog Squad and the Bomb Squad team was investigating the safety of the court.

In the Bodhgaya serial bomb blast case, five IM terrorists had to be sentenced on Thursday, 31st May, but due to demands from the advocate for time, the court of justice had deferred the sentence. After the debate was concluded on Friday, the sentence of all the accused was pronounced.

Convicted on 25th May

NIA Special Court convicted the five accused on May 25. Imtiyaz Ansari, Haider Ali, Mujibullah Ansari, Umer Siddiqui and Azharuddin Qureshi were brought to the court from the jail. NIA Special Public Prosecutor Lalan Prasad Sinha argued that the incident was dated back to July 7, 2013. Bombs exploded at nine places in Mahabodhi temple. Sinha told the court that it was a terrorist attack, which was meant to eliminate hundreds of children living in a residential school in the Buddhist temple complex. The accused had planted 13 bomb plants inside and outside the Buddhist temple. Out of these, nine bombs exploded successfully and three were recovered alive.

Decision comes after 4 years 10 months and 12 days

NIA court special judge Manoj Kumar, took decision against the five accused in the nine blasts in Bodh Gaya on July 7, 2013, pronounced the verdict convicting all the accused. In the year 2013, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and a pilgrim from Myanmar were injured in the blast.

90 witnesses were examined

As many as 90 witnesses were examined during the trial, in Bodhgaya bomb blast case and after the completion of the debate on May 11, 2018, the Special Judge had reserved its decision for May 25, on which the verdict was pronounced.

Haider, Mujib Ullah and Imtiyaz are living in Ranchi, while Umer and Azhar are from Chhattisgarh’s Raipur.

Another accused (6th accused) Taufique Ansari, who was also involved in the Bodh Gaya and Patna blasts, was a juvenile at the time of the crime. Being a juvenile at that time, his case was transferred to the juvenile justice board (JJB), which had sentenced him to three years imprisonment on October 11, 2017.

(Nilesh) Editorial Staff

Nilesh is an budding journalist with broad, deep experience in print and online writing, publication and site management, news coverage, and editorial team management.