Maharashtra Minister of Textiles, Awkaf and Minorities Development
Arif Naseem Khan today said that complete justice to the innocent
youth and people of Malegaon would be done only when the erring
officers were punished.
Arif Naseem Khan was on a day-long
visit to Malegaon November 16 ahead of the release of the nine of
the seven accused booked in the 2006 Malegaon blast case.
"The innocent youth of Malegaon are
released today on bail. This is an indication that justice to
innocent is a priority for the government. However, complete
justice to these youth and people of Malegaon will be done only
when the officers, who deliberately or otherwise framed the
innocents in the case, are punished", Khan said while addressing a
public meeting in Malegaon.
"These officers are either communal
or sided with the communal forces and deliberately misled the
investigations. It is because of them that these innocent youth
had to spend so many years in jail. Investigations will be done
against these officers and they will be punished so that such
things are not repeated in future", he added.
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. They were released from the jail today at around 05:30 late
in the afternoon after an extensive labour of more
than a week for the advocates and frequent shuttling between
Mumbai and Malegaon to prepare and verify the bail documents.
The minister also promised that the
losses these youth and their families have incurred would be
"Nothing can compensate the trauma
and sufferings these youth and their families had to undergo
during these five years. But I promise on behalf of the government
that we will try every thing in hand to compensate these innocent
youth", he said.
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 -
Local Muslims in Malegaon including
the victims since the day one had maintained that the arrested
Muslim men were innocent. Ironically, one of the accused who the
ATS claimed in the charge-sheet as one of the planters was about
600 kms away from Malegaon at the time of incident.
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