A local court in Jaunpur on Wednesday awarded death sentence to alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operative and Bangladeshi national Obedur Rehman alias Babu Bhai, convicted in the 2005 Shramjeevi Express blast case. The explosion aboard the New Delhi-bound train had left 12 people dead and 18 injured.
Obedur Rehman’s co-accused Mohammad Alam Giri Hussain alias Ronny, a Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) operative, had been given capital punishment on Tuesday. Ronny, also a Bangladeshi national, is lodged in Naini Central Jail, Allahabad.
“Additional District and Sessions Judge Buddhi Ram awarded death sentence to Obedur Rehman on charges of murder conspiracy, 10 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy of attempt to murder, life imprisonment under the Explosives Act and five years’ imprisonment under the Foreigners Act,” said government counsel Vijay Shankar Yadav. Fifty-two prosecution witnesses were examined in the trial.
On July 28, 2005, an explosion ripped apart a compartment of Shramjeevi Express near Harpalganj railway station in Jaunpur. According to the prosecution, Rehman and another accused,Yahiya Khan, who died in a police encounter, had assembled a bomb in a house in Khusrupur in Bihar, which they handed over to Ronny and Hilal alias Hilaluddin, who placed it in the train. After handing over the bomb, Rehman went back to Bangladesh, the prosecution added.
A few days later, Rehman returned to India and was caught in West Bengal under the Foreigners Act after he failed to produce valid documents. Rehman’s role in the blast came to light during the questioning of Abdulla Tariq and Noor Mohammad, then lodged in a prison in West Bengal, the prosecution revealed. In May 2005, Rehman was brought to Jaunpur to face trial. Hilal and another accused, Nafikul Vishwas of West Bengal, are presently lodged in Hyderabad’s Central Jail, facing trial in another case. The Jaunpur court has summoned them, and scheduled the next hearing for September 20.