New Delhi: Seven ISIS terrorists have been sentenced to death by an NIA court in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train bomb blast case. Nine people were seriously injured in the blast.

Those sentenced to death include Mohammad Faisal, Ghaus Mohammad Khan, Mohammad Azhar, Atiq Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Mohammad Syed Mir Hussain and Asif Iqbal alias Roki. Mohammad Atif alias Asif Irani has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Pronouncing the sentence, Judge V S Tripathi said the case falls in the rarest of rare category and the accused deserve the harshest punishment. The court had convicted the accused on February 24 and fixed Tuesday as the date for pronouncement of the verdict. The charge sheet in the case was filed on August 31, 2017.

Another accused in the charge sheet was Saifullah was killed in an encounter in Lucknow’s Dubaga area. The court held the accused guilty under sections 121, 121A, 122, 123 of the IPC, sections 17, 18, 18A, 18B, 23, 38 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and sections 3/25/35 of the Arms Act.

The accused argued that they have already been in jail for more than five years and hence the court should show leniency in sentencing them. Rejecting the appeal of the convicts, the court said that the convicts had fought a war against the country and hence they were not entitled to any laxity.

The court sent the case file to the Allahabad High Court for confirmation of the death sentence of the death row convicts as it is a law that the death penalty can be awarded only after confirmation from the high court.

According to special public prosecutors M K Singh and K K Sharma, an FIR in the matter was lodged at the ATS police station in Lucknow on March 8, 2017.

According to case, the ATS had received information that members of the banned terror outfit ISIS were planning to carry out blasts at various places in the country.

The Kanpur unit of the ATS first arrested Mohammad Faisal and later the rest of the accused were arrested. The counsel for the state said the accused had carried out the test blast at Ganga Ghat in Unnao. Investigations have also revealed that the accused had planted a bomb on the Kanpur-Unnao railway track. They had also planted bombs at various places on the occasion of Dussehra.

According to the findings of the investigation, the accused wanted to go to Pakistan and Afghanistan through Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Mumbai to carry out acts of terrorism.

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