India convicts two over 2007 blasts that killed 44

5 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: An Indian court Tuesday convicted two members of a banned Islamist militant group over bomb blasts in August 2007 in the southern city of Hyderabad that killed 44 people, reports AFP.

One explosion went off in an auditorium packed with families watching a laser show. Minutes later a second blast ripped through a congested street food stall in another part of the city.

Justice T. Srinivas Rao found Aneeq Shafique Sayeed and Mohammed Akbar Ismail Choudhury guilty and acquitted two others in the protracted case, a prosecution lawyer told reporters in Hyderabad.

The judge will announce sentences on Monday. The court is also likely to rule on the third accused, Tarik Anjum, who is charged with giving shelter to the bombers after the blasts.

“I demand that the accused be given the strictest punishment so that they understand the pain we are going through,” a blast survivor told reporters outside the special court.

The men belonged to the Islamic militant group Indian Mujahideen, which police say is an offshoot of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.

In 2011 the US included Indian Mujahideen in its official blacklist of foreign terrorist organisations.

The trial heard testimony from 170 witnesses before closing arguments were made last month.

Three others accused in the case including the main conspirator Riyaz Bhatkal remain at large.