Mumbai: An Indian court formally charged 13 men with a slew of crimes for their alleged role in train bombings last year that killed 187 people and maimed many more.
The first charges were read out on 6 August and the formal reading of the charges concluded today.
All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Police say the 13 men, along with 15 others still at large, plotted and carried out the attacks, setting off a series of bombs that ripped apart seven coaches during evening rush hour. Apart from those killed, another 824 people were wounded.
According to the charges, the men were members of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, an Islamic militant group based in Pakistan, and of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India, or Simi, a banned group based in northern India.
The men were charged with conspiring to carry out sabotage, to use explosives to cause large scale loss of life, terrorizing railway commuters, disturbing harmony, promoting enmity between religions and disrupting public transportation.
If convicted of murder, the accused could face the death penalty. The other charges all carry heavy prison terms.
Reading the charges, Judge Mrudula Bhatkar said the men instigated young Muslims “in the name of religion to resort to terrorist acts.”