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The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

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With the execution of Aum Shinrikyo leader and six of his followers, Japan looks to leave behind an era of tragedy. 
On July 6, 2018, Japanese authorities executed seven members of the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (Aum true religion, or supreme truth), which carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack and a series of other atrocities. None of the seven of the executed men were directly involved in releasing the gas on that tragic day; four of those who did remain under a death sentence, and their executions may be imminent.
The seven executed were involved in planning and organizing the various crimes committed by Aum. Asahara Shoko (born Matsumoto Chizuo), was the founder and leader of the movement, having developed the doctrinal system instrumental to Aum’s violence and its concept of a final cosmic war of good (Aum) against evil (the corrupt material world and everyone — from the Japanese government to the general public — who lived in it). Asahara is believed to have given …

India's Supreme Court stays execution of Mumbai blast convict

Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the execution of death row convict Tahir Merchant in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. The convict, who facilitated training of several co-accused in Pakistan, had challenged his death penalty claiming no role in the conspiracy.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, sought a response from the CBI within 6 weeks and called for the case records from the special TADA court in Mumbai, which had awarded death sentence to Merchant and co-convict Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, besides giving life imprisonment to gangster Abu Salem. Merchant was convicted in the second stage of trial in the case as he was absconding earlier.

The bench listed the matter for further hearing on March 14 next year. As many as 257 people were killed and 718 injured in the serial blasts at 12 places in Mumbai on March 12, 1993.

The bench, which also included Justices Ashok Bhushan and M.M. Shantanagoudar, said, "The state of Maharashtra is directed to compile the evidence in entirety and file the compilation in convenient volumes and also serve a copy thereof to the counsel for the appellant (Merchant)."

Merchant had challenged the September 7 order of the special TADA court which had held that he was amongst the main conspirators.

The trial court had noted that Merchant worked with (absconding conspirator) Tiger Memon and participated in several conspiracy meetings in Dubai.

He also made travel arrangements, financed the stay and travel of several co-accused and facilitated their training in Pakistan, the court had said.

"The role of Tahir Merchant in the conspiracy is prominent. He is one of the initiators of the conspiracy," it had said. Merchant's trial was separated from the main case as he was arrested after the first set of trial had already started.

Source: asianage.com, December 5, 2017


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