Varanasi serial blasts convict Waliullah Khan was sentenced to death by a sessions court and was sentenced to life imprisonment in another case, sixteen years after the explosions rocked the city.
At least 20 people were killed and over 100 were left injured after blasts at the Sankat Mochan temple and the cantonment railway station on March 7, 2006.
Ghaziabad Sessions Court Judge Jitendra Kumar Sinha convicted Waliullah in two cases, which were lodged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections of murder, attempt to murder and mutilation, and the Explosives Act. Waliullah was acquitted in one case because of inadequate evidence, district government counsel Rajesh Sharma told PTI.
Varanasi twin blasts
On March 7, 2006, the first blast took place at Sankat Mochak temple. After 15 minutes, another explosion was reported outside the first-class retiring room at Varanasi cantonment railway station. On the same day, a cooker bomb was also discovered near the railings of a railway crossing near DashashwaMedh police station.
Lawyers in Varanasi had declined to take up the case. The Allahabad High Court then transferred the case to the Ghaziabad district court. A total of 121 witnesses were produced in three cases against the convict.
In April 2006, the special task force, which was probing the blasts, had claimed that Waliullah was linked to Bangladesh-based terror outfit Harkat-ul-jehad Al Islami and was the mastermind behind the blasts.