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Eleven years of 7/11 Mumbai train blasts: All that we know so far

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The 11 July 2006 Mumbai train bombings were a series of seven bomb blasts that took place over a period of 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway in Mumbai, the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the nation’s financial capital. The bombs were set off in pressure cookers on trains plying the Western line of the Suburban Railway network. 209 people were killed and over 700 were injured.

Here is all that we know so far

Blasts

  • 01

    Pressure cooker bombs

    Pressure cooker bombs were used in the bombing to increase the afterburn in a termobaric reaction, which is generaly more powerful than conventional high explosives. 


  • 02

    Series of seven blasts

    The bombs were placed in the trains on the Western line of the local trains of Mumbai. The series of seven blast took place on the eve of July 11. First blast took place at 18:24 and the blast continued till 18:35 approximately 11 minutes at various spots on the western line.

  • 03

    Seven places

    They exploded at or in the near vicinity of the suburban railway stations of Matunga Road, Mahim, Bandra, Khar Road, Jogeshwari, Bhayandar and Borivali.

Injuries

  • 01

    209 dead, 714 injured

    Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R. R. Patil confirmed that a total of 200 people were killed and another 714 others have been injured. Additionally, various news organisations have reported that at least 200 people have died and that more than 700 others have been injured.A week after the blasts in Mumbai the confirmed death toll rose to 207. In September 2006 it was confirmed that the death toll had risen to 209

Rescue and relief operations

  • 01

    Rescue efforts hampered

    Initial rescue efforts were hampered by the heavy rains and the prevalent monsoon flooding, but quickly took momentum after fellow passengers and bystanders helped victims to reach waiting ambulances and/or provided first aid

  • 02

    Ex- gratia

    Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced ex-gratia payments of Rs 1,00,000 to the next of kin of those who died in the explosion. The injured would be given Rs 50,000 each

  • 03

    Indian Railways compensation

    Indian Railways announced Rs 5,00,000 compensation and a job to the next of kin of those killed in the serial blasts in Mumbai. The announcements were made by Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav after visiting those injured in the blasts at a hospital in Mumbai.

Controversy

  • 01

    Lashkar-e-Toiba

    The anti-terrorism squad (ATS), in its charge sheet filed on November 29, 2006, claimed it was a Lashkar-e-Toiba operation, carried out with the help of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India. But two years later, a terror suspect’s confession left security agencies confused.

  • 02

    Indian Mujahideen

     The crime branch stumbled upon a fresh lead after the arrest of Mohammed Sadiq Israr Sheikh on September 24, 2008. Sheikh was the 31-year-old co-founder of an indigenous terror outfit named Indian Mujahideen

  • 03

    Mohammed Sadiq Israr Sheikh retracted his confession

    Though Sheikh confessed on the tapes that he carried out the bombings he later retracted his confession.

Arrest

  • 01

    3 people arrested, 300 detained

    On 21 July 2006 police arrested three people suspected to be involved in the bombings. Police have detained more than 300 suspects since 18 July but these are the first arrests in the case. All 3 men arrested are said to be members of SIMI

  • 02

    Abdul Karim Tunda

    On the same day, Abdul Karim Tunda was thought to be arrested in Mombasa, Kenya on suspicions of involvement in the train bombings. But it was the wrong person. He was one of India's most wanted men and also a suspected organiser for the banned Islamic terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

  • 03

    Retraction of confessions

    In late 2006, all the seven key accused in the Mumbai train blasts in July retracted their alleged confession to the police, saying they were illegally forced to sign blank papers

Punishment for the convicts

  • 01

    Death penalty

    The special MCOCA court in 2015 gave five of them – Faisal Sheikh, Asif Khan, Kamal Ansari, Ehtesham Sidduqui and Naveed Khan – death sentence for planting the bombs.

  • 02

    Life imprisonment

    The other seven convicts who provided materials and logistical support for making the bombs – Mohammed Sajid Ansari, Mohammed Ali, Dr Tanveer Ansari, Majid Shafi, Muzzammil Shaikh, Sohail Shaikh and Zamir Shaikh – were sentenced to life imprisonment in 2015.

  • 03

    Acquitted

    Abdul Wahid Din Mohammed Shaikh was the only one acquitted by court. He was booked for providing his house at Mumbra to harbour Pakistanis. No evidence was found against him.

Memorial service

  • 01

    Memorial service at Mahim

    A memorial service was held in Mumbai on 18 July at 6:25 pm local time — exactly one week after the blasts. President Abdul Kalam, his hand raised to his forehead in salute, led the two-minute silence as people lit candles and placed wreaths at Mahim station, one of the seven places on the suburban rail network hit by bombs. 

The confirmation of the death sentence is pending before the Bombay high court.

 

 

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