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2006 Malegaon blast: Hindu accused questions NIA probe
Saturday June 29, 2013 10:55 PM, IANS

An accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case Saturday questioned the validity of investigations into the case by the National Investigation Agency (NIA)and termed the probe as "illegal", a lawyer said here.

Blasts accused Dhan Singh, nabbed by the NIA, along with three others, moved the Special Court of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), challenging the NIA's fresh probe into the Sep 8, 2006 blasts that killed 37 people, mostly Muslim pilgrims, and injured over 100.

He contended before MCOCA Special Judge Y.D. Shinde that the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had already filed a chargesheet in the case.

Later, the case was earlier probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which also filed a supplementary chargesheet.

"Whatever has been done by the NIA, under the guise of further investigation is totally bad in law and hence the material collected by the NIA has no legal sanctity," Singh said in his application before the Special MCOCA Court.

Claiming that the evidence was collected by the NIA without authority, Singh sought that agency's probe be declared illegal.

He urged the MCOCA special court to send his application to the Bombay High Court for reference, if needed.

The NIA is expected to file its reply in the matter July 22, said Jamiat Ulama-E-Maharashtra (AM) legal advisor Shahid N. Ansari, who is representing two other accused in the case Mohammed Ali Alam Sheikh and Asif Bashir Khan, who have sought a discharge following the NIA's new revelations after its investigations.

Moving another application, Singh urged the special court that he must be allowed to present his statement in the discharge application of Sheikh and Khan.

Advocate Ansari said that in the initial stages, the Maharashtra ATS arrested nine accused, mostly Muslim youths, from and around Malegaon in Nashik district of north Maharashtra.

After the NIA took over the probe from the ATS and the CBI, it did not oppose their bail applications and barring Sheikh and Khan, who were accused in another case, all the other seven accused were given bail, said the lawyer.

In their investigations, the NIA found that the blast was perpetrated by Hindu fanatic groups and arrested Dhan Singh, Lokesh Sharma, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary, and chargesheeted them in May, said the lawyer.

The new developments cropped up after suspect Swami Aseemananda gave a confession revealing the involvement of Hindu right wing groups in the Malegaon blast.

Meanwhile, the NIA, on an application moved by JUeM, which has been providing free legal aid to the accused, officially provided copies of the supplementary chargesheet to all the seven accused on bail, Ansari said.

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