A Ghaziabad court on Monday sentenced the main accused in the 2006 Varanasi serial blasts case to death and life imprisonment.
As per the order of the District and Sessions Court, accused Walliullah Khan has been given the death penalty for murder, attempt to murder and violation of the Explosives Act in connection with the blasts that claimed more than 20 lives.
The accused was held guilty by the Court on Saturday and the punishment was announced on Monday.
“The accused has been found guilty of murder and has been fined Rs 50,000. He will be hanged until death. The sentence, however, will not be carried out till it has been upheld by the Allahabad High Court within a month,” read the order by judge Jitendra Kumar Sinha.
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.
The same day, a pressure cooker bomb was also found near the railings of a railway crossing in Dashashwamedh police station area.
As per officials, several persons had identified Waliullah Khan at the site where the bombs had been planted. The testimonies were taken into account as the court found the accused guilty of several sections, said officials. Four FIRs had been filed against the accused in Varanasi following the blasts.
The Special Task Force (STF) of UP Police had arrested Waliullah, the imam of a mosque in Prayagraj, from Lucknow on April 5, 2006, claiming that he was the mastermind behind the blasts. Investigators also claimed that bombs were planted by three men who had come from Bangladesh, with whom Waliullah had studied at Deoband. The trial in the case was transferred from Varanasi to a Ghaziabad court after a group of lawyers had attacked Waliullah on May 3, 2006. Waliullah has been lodged in Ghaziabad’s Dasna jail since his arrest.