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India to use special courts for Mumbai train bombings cases

[JURIST] India will try the 19 suspects in the July Mumbai train bombings [JURIST report] case using special courts to speed up the legal process, the leader of the Mumbai Police [official website] anti-terrorism squad [backgrounder] told Reuters Wednesday. India's legal system is notoriously slow, and special courts are often used in high-profile cases to focus efforts on ending these trials quickly. Charges against the 19 suspects, most of whom are Muslim, are expected by the end of November.

Indian government officials have hinted that Kashmiri militants [BBC backgrounder] may have played a role in the series of eight bombs that exploded on the Mumbai train, killing 200 and injuring 700, while stopping short of blaming Pakistan for the blasts. Pakistan insists that it only offers the Islamabad-funded militants diplomatic support and denied supporting the attacks. An Indian opposition party said in July that the attacks were "a fallout of repealing" the country's Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) [text; backgrounder], set aside by the now-ruling United Progressive Alliance when it came to power in 2004. The group said POTA had to be revived [JURIST report] in order for India to effectively combat terrorism. Reuters has more.

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