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NIA admits error in probe; Declares Malegaon youths innocent

Tuesday September 13, 2011 12:18:48 PM, Staff Reporter

Malegon: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has finally concluded that the nine Muslim youths who were arrested and jailed in 2006 in connection with the Malegaon blasts are innocent, a media report claimed.


"In a U-turn from its previous stand, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has submitted an internal report to the NIA saying only the right-wing Hindutva group activists arrested last year should be probed for the blast", leading electronic TV channel NDTV claimed in its report published September 13.


In 2009, the CBI toed the Maharashtra ATS line and chargesheeted the nine Muslim men. The agency retracted in 2010, when Swami Aseemanand confessed that the blasts were the handiwork of a Hindutva group.


As a result of this error in the terror probe, these nine innocent men had to spend five years in prison. The Hindutva group, on the other hand, has not even been named in this case.

A series of blasts struck Malegaon on September 08 in 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. 32 people had been killed and more than 300 were injured in the blasts, most of them being children.


The Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) investigation of the 2006 Malegaon blast is receiving flak ever since it arrested the Muslim youths in the attack on a mosque in which the victims were all Muslims. Doubts were raised over the investigation also by the families of the victims.


After much of an outcry the state government had decided to hand over the investigation to the CBI. But it was done only after the ATS filed its chargesheet accusing the Muslim youths of masterminding the terror attack.


The case took an interesting turn when Swami Aseemanand, one of the accused arrested in Mecca Masjid and other blast cases, admitted in his confession made before a magistrate that the Muslim youths arrested in 2006 blast case were not guilty.


Following Aseemanad's confession, some officers in the Maharashtra ATS had also suggested that their could be errors in thier probe.


Interestingly, the Muslim leaders in Mumbai and Malegaon claimed that the Union Home Minister P Chidamabarm, Union Minister Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and other ministers have also confessed in private that the Muslim youths were innocent and were wrongly framed in the case.

After the admission by the NIA now, it is still to be seen that how and  when these Muslim youths are discharged from the case.






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