A special NIA court in Patna sentenced all the five convicts in the 2013 Bodh Gaya blasts to life imprisonment Friday. The court, which pronounced the verdict last week, had to defer the pronouncement of quantum of sentence owing to defence’s persistent efforts to delay the proceedings.
The court of additional district judge Manoj Kumar Sinha awarded the punishment to all five Indian Mujahideen militants — Umer Siddiqui (39), Azaharuddin Qureshi (25), Imtiyaz Ansari(35), Haider Ali (30) and Mujibullah Ansari (28). They were held guilty under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 153A (promoting enmity among different groups on grounds of religion, sect and place of birth) and various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act.
In the blasts on July 7, 2013, four bombs had exploded inside and near the Mahabodhi temple, injuring a devotee. The case was later handed over to the NIA that has also been investigating the Gandhi Maidan blast in Patna.