Special NIA judge Manoj Kumar Sinha held all the five accused— Imtiyaz Ansari, Haider Ali, Mujib Ullah, Omair Siddiqui and Azharuddin Qureishi—guilty in the case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act and the Explosives Act.
The Buddhist pilgrim town of Bodh Gaya was rocked by a series of explosions on the morning of 7 July 2013 which had left a number of people, including some Buddhist monks, injured.
A sixth accused in the case — Taufiq Ahmed —was less than 18 years of age and sentenced to three years in remand home by a juvenile court last year which found him guilty of involvement in the case. All the six accused have also been associated with the banned organization SIMI.
The convicts planted 13 improvised explosive devices in Bodh Gaya on 7 July 2013, of which 10 exploded. Four bombs went off at the Mahabodhi temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, while six exploded within a kilometre of the temple. Five people, including two Buddhist monks, were injured.
Umer Siddique, one of the convicts, has claimed that the blasts were carried out to avenge the atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
The five are also among the 10 people accused of carrying out serial blasts in Patna on October 27, 2013, killing seven people and injuring 89. The explosions were set off to disrupt Narendra Modi’s “Hunkar Rally” ahead of the 2014 General Elections. One of the conspirators, Tariq Ansari, died after he was seriously injured while setting up a bomb. A juvenile involved in both the cases was sentenced to three years in a remand home in October.