Waliullah sentenced to death in Varanasi Sankatmochan bomb blast case

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A Ghaziabad court on Monday sentenced terrorist Waliullah Khan to death in the 2006 Varanasi blast case. On Saturday, District Sessions Judge Jitendra Kumar Sinha found Waliullah Khan guilty in two cases, which were filed under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections of murder, attempted murder and maiming, and acquitted him in a case due to insufficient evidence.

The explosions at the Sankat Mochan temple and at the cantonment station on March 7, 2006 left 20 dead and more than 100 injured.

The first explosion took place at 6:15 p.m. inside the Sankat Mochan temple. After 15 minutes, a bomb exploded in front of the first class toilets at Varanasi Cantonment Station. A third cooker bomb was found near the railings of a level crossing at a police station.

READ | 2006 Varanasi blast case: Ghaziabad court convicts terrorist Waliullah

Six bombs were defused in other areas of the city, including a restaurant frequented by foreigners, near the station.

The Ministry of Railways had announced Rs 100,000 free of charge to the relatives of those who died in the explosion at Cantonment station in Varanasi.

Varanasi’s lawyers had refused to plead the case. Allahabad High Court had transferred the case to Ghaziabad District Court.

In the three cases, 121 witnesses were produced in court. Waliullah, a resident of Phoolpur in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by police after the blasts on April 6, 2006.

In April 2006, a special task force investigating the blasts claimed that Waliullah was linked to a terrorist group in Bangladesh, Harkat-ul-jehad Al Islami, and was the mastermind behind the blasts.

Besides Waliullah, there were four other suspects, three of whom (Mustafeez, Jakaria and Waseer) remain at large while a fourth (Mohammad Zuber) was killed in a police crackdown, according to a PTI report.

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