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No evidence against accused arrested in '06 Malegaon blasts case: CBI

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 12:16:26 PM, Agencies &

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Mumbai/Malegaon: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), three years after it took over the probe in the 2006 Malegaon blasts, has said that it does not have evidence against those arrested in the case.


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 yesterday.


Salvi's reply in the High Court (HC) came during the hearing of the petition filed by Mohd. Zahid, Noorul Huda and Shabbir Masihulla - three of the nine accused in jail since 2006.


The reply prompted the judges to direct the Maharashtra government to give explanations as to why the investigations of September 2006 Malegaon blast were handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).


Malegaon, the textile town in North Maharashtra was attacked by terrorists in September 2006. The blasts that had taken place outside and near a mosque had killed more than 30 people and injured over 300, all of them Muslims. The investigating agencies alleged the involvement of the Muslim youths belonging to SIMI into the incident.


Following the persistent demand from the town that by and large believed the arrested youths are innocent, the government handed the investigations to CBI.


The High Court during the hearing on November 17, 2009 yesterday said that the cause for the transfer of investigations after the charge sheet was filed needs 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.


ATS had arrested nine Muslim youths for conspiring the blast. Abrar Ahmed one of these nine nine accused became approver in the case. Abrar, however, turned hostile later on and filed an affidavit saying he was lured and pressurized to become an approver. Abrar in his affidavit has also leveled serious charges against the investigating officers.


The petitioners' advocate Amin Solkar argued that according to Abrar's affidavit those arrested in the September 29, 2008 blast in Malegaon had also carried out the 2006 blasts.


"There are serious allegations against the investigating officers, then Superintendent of Police Rajvardhan and ATS chief K.P. Raghuvanshi which need to be looked into," said Solkar.


Solkar said the ATS filed the chargesheet a day after the government had handed over the probe to the CBI.


Police, however, maintained that the chargesheet was filed before the CBI took over the probe. The HC has asked the government to clarify this too.


The petitioners has also sought to investigate into the manner in which the inquiry was conducted in the case.


The High Court has asked the state government to file an affidavit in this regard within two weeks.








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