Waliullah Khan, who was convicted in the 2006 Varanasi serial blasts case, was sentenced to the death penalty and life imprisonment on Monday by a Ghaziabad court. The verdict came 16 years after serial bomb blasts rocked the holy city of Varanasi.
The blasts at the Sankat Mochan temple and the cantonment railway station on March 7, 2006 had claimed at least 20 lives and left over 100 injured.
On Saturday, District Sessions Judge Jitendra Kumar Sinha convicted Waliullah in two cases which were lodged under IPC sections of murder, attempt to murder and mutilation and under the Explosives Act, district government counsel Rajesh Sharma told news agency PTI.
The accused has been acquitted in one case due to inadequate evidence, he said.
Varanasi serial blasts case:
On 7th March 2006, the first blast took place at 6.15 pm inside the Sankat Mochak temple in the Lanka police station. After 15 minutes, a bomb exploded outside the first-class retiring room at Varanasi cantonment railway station.
On the same day, a cooker bomb was also found near the railings of a railway crossing in DashmaVedh police station.
Lawyers in Varanasi had refused to plead the case. The Allahabad High Court had transferred the case to the Ghaziabad district court.
In all three cases, 121 witnesses were produced before the court.
In April 2006, the special task force, which was investigating the blasts, had claimed that Waliullah was linked to a terrorist outfit in Bangladesh Harkat-ul-jehad Al Islami and was the mastermind behind the blasts.
(With PTI inputs)