Mumbai: A special MCOCA court on Saturday allowed the accused in July 2006 suburban train blasts case to examine Indian Mujhahideen (IM) co-founder Sadiq Israr Sheikh and two others as defence witnesses, ignoring opposition by the Anti-Terrorism Squad. The defence had filed an application in the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act court seeking to call Sadiq, Arif Badruddin and Ansar Ahmed--all allegedly involved in various blasts across India in 2008--as defence witnesses in the train bombings case. The ATS had opposed the application.
188 people were killed and 817 others injured on July 11, 2006 when seven RDX bombs kept in the first class coaches of suburban trains had exploded. Some of the accused arrested in connection with various blasts in 2008 had confessed that they were involved in the train blasts as well. The Crime Branch had arrested Sheikh on September 24, 2008 from suburban Kurla for his alleged involvement in 2008 blasts and later handed over his custody to ATS which interrogated him for his alleged role in the train blasts. However, the MCOCA court had let off Sheikh on May 11, 2009, after the ATS filed a discharge application, saying they did not find any evidence about Sheikh's role in the train blasts.
The 2006 explosions occurred between Khar Road-Santacruz, Bandra-Khar Road, Jogeshwari-Mahim Junction, Mira Road- Bhayander, Matunga Mahim Junction, and Borivili. While ATS had arrested Kamal Ahamed Ansari (37), Dr Tanvir Ahmed Ansari (37), Mohd Faisal Shaikh (36), Ehtesham Siddiqui (30), Mohammad Majid Shafi (32), Shaikh alam Shaikh (41), Mohd Sajid Ansari (34), Abdul Wahid Shaikh (34), Muzzammil Shaikh (27), Soheil Mehmood Shaikh (43), Zamir Ahmad Shaikh (36), Naveed Hussain Khan (30), Asif Khan (38), 14 others, including Azam Chima, were absconding.
The examination of witnesses had resumed after a span of two years after the Supreme Court had stayed the trial in 2008. The prosecution had already examined a police officer before the apex court vacated the stay on April 23, 2010.