[JURIST] An Indian anti-terror court [MCOCA court] on Friday convicted 12 men of various charges, including murder, in connection with the near simultaneous bombings [NY Times report] of seven trains in Mumbai in 2006. The men, ranging in age from late 20s to early 40s, are thought to have been members of the Students Islamic Movement of India [SATP profile]. Prosecutors say the student organization teamed up with the Pakistan-backed militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba [NCTC profile] in order to carry out the attacks, allegations which the Pakistani government denies. Those two groups allegedly placed eight homemade bombs on the first-class cars of several trains and one train station, and detonated the explosive within 15 minutes of one another, resulting in 189 deaths and more than 800 injuries. Although charges were filed against the men only four months after the attack, the case took seven years to resolve due to difficulties in collecting evidence. Judge Yatin D. Shinde will announce sentencing on Monday, with the prosecution seeking the death penalty.
Since India gained independence from Britain in 1947, the government has struggled with multiple rebel and terrorist organizations. Last month, the Indian government agreed to peace [JURIST report] with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland after 60 years of feuding. The month before, India hanged Yakub Memon [JURIST report], a former accountant convicted in the 1993 Mumbai bombings. In January, the Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned [JURIST report] the release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, former head of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and alleged organizer of the 2008 Mumbai attacks that killed 165 individuals.