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Malegaon youth out of jail finally; Interim relief from five years of trauma

Wednesday November 16, 2011 05:40:41 PM, Staff Reporter

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Malegaon: At last the seven Muslim youth of Malegaon who were granted bail by the Special MCOCA Court November 05 came out of the jail today afternoon. While the six accused were released from Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail, one of the accused was released from Byculla Jail.


"After hectic activities of more than a week and thorough checking of the bail documents by the officials, the Special MCOCA Court finally issued the order today directing the jail authorities to release the Muslim men", Advocate Nehal Ansari, one of the lawyers defending the accused who is in Mumbai, said to on phone.


The accused came out of the jail at around 05:35 late in the afternoon.


"A large number of people including close relatives and friends, and local leaders from Mumbai and Malegaon were present when the youth, who were in jail since 2006/07 and were allegedly subjected to inexpressible trauma and torture during this period, came out of the prison", said Kul Jamaati Tanzeem leader Maulana Abdul Hameed Azhari who was camping in Mumbai since last two days.


The Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) after the 2006 Malegaon blast had chargesheeted nine Muslim youth in the case. However after a long legal battle and probe-after-probe by the state and federal investigating agencies, they were granted bail by the Special MCOCA Court on November 05, 2011.


While seven of the nine accused - Shabbir Ah Masihullah, Dr Farogh Iqbal Makhdoomi, Dr. Salman Farsi, Zahid Ahmed Abdul Majid, Nurulhuda Shamuddoha, Raees Ah Rajjab Ali and Abrar Ah Ahmed Saeed - all hailing from Malegaon, were released from the prisons today, two accused Mohd Ali Shaikh Alam of Mumbai and Asif Basheer Junaid Khan of Jalgaon could not be released as they are chargesheeted in the 2006 Mumbai train blast case also.


A series of blasts had struck Malegaon on September 08, 2006 ahead of Shab-e-Barat, a Muslim festival when thousands of people were busy offering Friday prayers at the Hamidia Masjid. Another blast occurred at nearby Mushawerat chowk few minutes later. 37 people were killed and more than 300 were injured in the blasts, most of them being children - all Muslims.


Local Muslims in Malegaon including the victims since the day one had maintained that the arrested Muslim men were innocent. They in fact carried one of the longest campaign in the history of the town demanding arrest of the actual perpetrators and release of the innocents.


Earlier, the case took a surprising turn when Swami Aseemanand, allegedly involved in Ajmer, Mecca Masjid and Samjhuata Express blasts, confessed that Hindu extremists, some of them already wanted in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, were also behind the 2006 Malegaon blast.


The nine Muslim youth had applied for the bail in January 2011 after Aseemnanad's confession. It was however rejected by the court in March.


After clear indications from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was handed over the re-investigation of the case after the ATS and CBI, that it would not oppose the bail, the nine accused again filed the bail application on October 01, 2011.


During the hearing on the bail application on November 05, 2011 when the NIA told the Special MCOCA Court that it was not opposed to the release of the accused, the court order them to be released on the solvency of Rs. 50,000 each.


It took an extensive labour of more than a week for the advocates and frequent shuttling between Mumbai and Malegaon to prepare and verify all the bail documents. The accused are expected to reach Malegaon late in the night.







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