When a designated court in Mumbai pronounces the quantum of sentence for the convicts in the 7/11 serial blasts case on Wednesday, 12 men will know what’s in store for them. Here are the 12 who are awaiting their sentence.
Kamal Ahmed Mohammad Vakil Ansari, 40
The 40-year-old is a resident of Basopatti in Madhubani district of Bihar. According to the police, he received arms training in Pakistan and ferried two Pakistani terrorists from across the Indo-Nepal border and dropped them to Mumbai. The police claim he is the one who planted the bomb that exploded in Matunga.
The youngest son of Vakil Ansari who served as a tailor in the Indian Army, Kamal is said to have been a frequent visitor to Nepal, a 45-minute ride from his village. Ansari, who dabbled in various businesses including selling poultry and repairing cycles, was on the police radar and had been arrested earlier in a case of counterfeit currency. Ansari is not known to have shown signs of radicalism, and is known for spouting dohas (couplets) from Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas.
Tanveer Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim Ansari, 40
The 40-year-old is a resident of Agripada and has been convicted for attending terror camps in Pakistan and surveying the local trains in which the blasts took place.Tanveer, who has eight siblings, completed a degree in Unani medicine from Nagpur and was associated with the Students Islamic Movement of India. Tanveer denies his association with SIMI but was part of a relief team organised by SIMI and sent to Gujarat after the January 2001 earthquake. He was picked up months later and booked by the Mumbai Police after he was found sitting in a library operated by SIMI, which had been banned by then.In spite of being booked and being under surveillance, Tanveer was allowed to fly to Iran in 2004 for what he claimed was a pilgrimage. He was later picked up by the Mumbai Police in 2006 from the intensive care unit of a hospital where he was treating a patient.
Mohammed Faisal Attaur Rahman Shaikh, 40
Mira Road-based Faisal has been seen as the head of Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Mumbai unit and is convicted for being a key financier of the Mumbai train blasts. The police claim he planned the conspiracy, getting hawala money to fund it, harboured Pakistani terrorists, assembled bombs and planted them. Faisal is the eldest of three sons of Attaur Rahman who worked in Saudi Arabia. The family, which spent some time in Pune, shifted to Mira Road where Faisal is supposed to have been indoctrinated by SIMI. In June 2001, he obtained a legitimate Indian passport, hoping to travel to Pakistan. Six months later, in January 2002, Faisal apparently crossed the border by taking the Samjhauta Express and trained with the Lashkar in Muzaffarabad and Lahore in Pakistan.The police claim that Faisal was responsible for the indoctrination of both his brothers. One has been convicted along with him while another is on the run. It is, however, believed that Faisal was estranged from his family.
Ehtesham Qutbuddin Siddiqui, 32
He has been charged with harbouring Pakistanis, surveying trains, assembling the bombs and planting the bomb that went off at Mira Road-Bhayander.
The son of Qutbuddin Siddiqui who worked in the Gulf, Ehtesham left his hometown of Jaunpur and came to Maharashtra where he enrolled himself in an engineering college in Pen. He, however, dropped out soon after and is supposed to have taken a liking to SIMI. In 2001, he was picked up from a library run by SIMI in Kurla and booked. He had since then been on the police radar. He subsequently started his own publishing unit printing books under the Shahadah Publishing House brand. Ehtesham also served as an office-bearer of SIMI’s Maharashtra unit. The police claim to have seized jihadi literature, including books such as Jihad Fi Sabilillah (Crusade in the name of Allah) and Jihadi Azkaar (Tales of crusaders). Interestingly, these “objectionable books” were found to be freely available across Mumbai at that time in bookstalls.
Mohammed Majid Shafi, 36
He has been convicted of helping six Pakistanis cross over into India through the Indo-Bangladesh border. The youngest of 12 siblings, Majid ran a footwear shop in the Raja Bazaar area of Kolkata. The police claim that Majid was operating a hawala racket and would frequently move in and out through the porous Indo-Bangladesh border. His family, however, claims that they had relatives in Bangladesh and visits to the country were frequent. His family says the clean-shaven Majid never had any terror links, and did not ever show any signs of radicalisation. Interestingly, Majid was known to be friendly with the local police and his shop was supposed to be a regular haunt of beat constables. He also claims that he had never visited Mumbai.
Shaikh Mohammed Ali Alam, 45
He has been charged with assembling the bombs at his house in Govandi with the help of some Pakistanis who had sneaked into India. A resident of Shivaji Nagar, one of the poorest localities in Mumbai, Mohammed Ali worked in a cooperative bank before moving to Dubai. He is supposed to have returned in a month and started his own business of supplying Unani medicines.He used to procure these medicines from Hyderabad for Unani doctors. During this time, he had started working as a SIMI operative and was known to have launched a campaign against video-parlours in his locality.He had been booked for being a member of SIMI and was called by the police numerous times, including after the 2002-03 blasts that took place in Mumbai. Constantly under the vigil of the local police, his 100 square feet house is supposed to have been used by over a dozen of the conspirators to assemble the bombs.
Mohammed Sajid Murgub Ansari, 37
The resident of Mira Road is supposed to have procured timers for the bombs and assembled them. He was also charged with harbouring two of the Pakistanis.
Sajid ran a mobile repairing shop in Naya Nagar, which was frequented by the other accused. Sajid is then supposed to have fallen under the sway of extremist ideology. The police claim that his technical knowhow was used in the entire conspiracy and he had helped in the procurement of timers for the bombs.
Tragedy seems to have befallen Sajid’s family after his arrest, with his sister passing away and mother in poor health. Like the other accused, Sajid seems to have found succour in filing RTI applications and collecting literature published by Central government agencies.
Muzammil Ataur Rahman Shaikh, 30
The software engineer is supposed to have trained in Pakistan and surveyed the local trains that were to be bombed. He is the youngest accused in the case. Two of his brothers, Faisal and Raahil, are believed to be the main planners of the conspiracy. Muzammil had joined work in Oracle Corporation in Bangalore as a software engineer a few months before the 2006 blasts.According to news reports, the Bangalore police had picked up Muzammil on July 13 but let him off as he wasn’t in Mumbai on the day of the blasts. They later tipped off the Mumbai Police about him after his brother Faisal’s detention. Locals of Mira Road vouch that Muzammil was a good student. He also claims that he had nothing to do with the blast and was in Bangalore when the entire incident occurred.
Suhail Mehmood Shaikh, 45
The Pune resident is supposed to have taken arms training in Pakistan and surveyed the trains to be targeted.A resident of Bhimpura Lane in Pune’s Camp area, Suhail is the eldest in the family and had been making a living doing zari work and alteration of clothes. Known to be pious, Suhail was educated in an English medium school and was also acting as a faith healer.He is supposed to have visited Iran, which his family claims was to set up a dry fruits business. In police records, he was known as a SIMI operative and was arrested after the organisation was banned. He had been under surveillance since the ban was put in place.
Soon after his arrest, his mother passed away. His 21-year-old son was denied a passport.
Zameer Ahmed Latifur Rehman Shaikh, 40
The resident of Worli has been charged with training in Pakistan, surveying the trains and attending conspiracy meetings. He did his schooling from Khairul Islam High School at Mominpura and completed his graduation from Maharashtra College at Nagpada in 1996. He subsequently set up a roadside business of making duplicate keys.It is in the early 2000s that he is supposed to have met the other accused. He is also said to have travelled outside the country for a period of 20 days in 2005. His family, however, claims that he had gone outside the country in search of a job but returned after failing to find one.
Naveed Hussain Khan Rasheed, 34
The former call centre employee is supposed to have helped in assembling the bombs and planting the bomb that exploded in Bandra.Khan was born in Kuwait and is supposed to have returned with his family after the death of his mother. According to reports, his mother was a Pakistani citizen who worked as an Islamic teacher in Kuwait.The family had purchased a flat in Mira Road area and Naveed had developed a strong friendship with Faisal Shaikh who has been deemed as the main financier of the conspiracy. Naveed had moved to Secunderabad where he was working in a call centre. Police, however, claim Naveed was in touch with all the accused and was in Mumbai when the blast took place. He was arrested from Secunderabad.
Asif Khan Bashir Khan, 42
He is supposed to have harboured the Pakistani terrorists in Mira Road area. Police claim he was responsible for procuring the pressure cookers and helped in assembling the bombs. He is also accused of having planted the bomb that went off in Borivali.The lanky civil engineer hails from Jalgaon and was a known SIMI member. Two cases were filed against him in Jalgaon, including one involving a pipe bomb. His co-accused were acquitted in that case but Khan was shown as absconding. Khan had by then taken up a job in a leading construction firm in Mumbai and was residing in Mira Road area. He had left the city and shifted to Belgaum after the blasts. He was the last accused to be arrested in the case. His family, however claims that he was working in office when the blasts occurred.