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Malegaon Blast: Court defers hearing on bail application till Feb 07

Friday January 28, 2011 07:38:29 PM, Staff Reporter

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Malegaon/Mumbai: The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in Mumbai January28 deferred the hearing on the bail applications of the 2006 Malegaon blast accused till February 07.


"The court asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to submit the certified copy of Swami Aseemanand's confessional statement till February 07 before further hearing on the bail application of the nine Muslim accused arrested in 2006 Malegaon blast case", Advocate SS Shaikh said to on phone from Mumbai.


The Court gave the CBI time till February 07 to submit the said document, he added.


Earlier, the CBI has filed a reply in the court stating that its investigation on the basis of Swami Aseemanand is underway.


The nine Muslim accused had moved to the special court January 17 seeking bail on the basis of the confessional statement of Swami Aseemanand.


"From the confession it is clear that those responsible for the 2006 Malegaon blasts are persons far removed from the current accused," they said in the bail plea.

"Moreover", the accused said, "They have been in jail for past four years and 'there is no direct evidence of their involvement in the said offence and was only based on forcibly taken confession statement'."


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.


Earlier on January 20 this year, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team led by SP range officer arrived in Malegaon - the Muslim dominated textile town in North Maharashtra to re-investigate the entire case. The CBI team visited the town after it was granted permission by the court for re-investigation the case in the wake of Aseemanad's confession.


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.


Interestingly, the CBI on November 16, 2009 in front of the Bombay High Court had said it did not have evidence against the arrested Muslim youths. The CBI's admission before the high court came during the hearing on the petition filed by Mohd. Zahid, Noorul Huda and Shabbir Masihulla - three of the nine accused in jail since 2006.


"The CBI has not filed a chargesheet or report before the special court because it has no evidence", Public prosecutor D.N. Salvi informed the Bombay High Court (HC) on November 16, 2009.


The reply invited the wrath of the High Court, which said that the cause for the transfer of investigations after the charge sheet was filed needed to be examined.


"Why the case was handed over to the CBI after ATS filed its chargesheet. Was it because the Government doesn't have faith in its own investigating team?", Justice Patil asked.


When Public Prosecutor said it was because of the public outcry that the investigation was handed over to the CBI, it infuriated the bench.


"Then we should release these accused on bail too. There is public outcry," said Justice Patel. "Who cried? State is going to decide on public outcry or based on facts?", he asked.


The case took an interesting turn after Swami Aseemanand, the prime accused arrested in various blast cases, admitted in his confession made before a magistrate that the Muslim youths arrested in 2006 blast case were not guilty.







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