Waliullah Khan, the main accused in the 2006 Varanasi serial blasts case, was sentenced to death penalty and life imprisonment by a Ghaziabad court on Monday, two days after he was found guilty, news agency ANI reported. 

The 55-year-old was taken into custody from Lucknow with a huge cache of arms, ammunition, and explosives on April 6, 2006, a month after serial bomb blasts rocked the holy city of Varanasi on March 7, 2006.

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The first blast took place at 6.15 pm inside the Sankat Mochak temple in the Lanka police station. Around 15 minutes later, another bomb exploded outside the retiring room at Varanasi cantonment railway station. On the same day, a cooker bomb was found near the railings of a railway crossing in DashmaVedh police station. Twenty eight people were killed and over 100 were injured in the blasts. 

The trial of Waliullah’s cases was held in Ghaziabad after lawyers in Varanasi refused to plead the case. 

In all three cases, 121 witnesses were produced before the court. Two of them had spotted Waliullah in Varanasi on March 4, 2006. 

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After sixteen years, Waliullah, a resident of Phoolpur in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj, was held guilty by a Ghaziabad court. Two others had spotted him with a bag at the crime spot on March 7. About ne-and-a-half-hour later, the bomb exploded. 

“The witnesses had identified the accused when his photos were flashed on television channels as a suspect. The witnesses Sitaram and Mohan also identified the accused in the court,” the court said.

On Monday, District and sessions judge Jitendra Kumar Sinha sentenced Waliullah to death in the Sankat Mochan temple case and to life imprisonment under Explosives Act. He was also fined Rs 2.65 lakh.