9 Muslims held for Malegaon blasts discharged, Mumbai court says no evidence

Court says no evidence; NIA chief says vindicated, probe showed different people (alleged Hindu extremists) involved.

Written by Sadaf Modak , ZEESHAN SHAIKH | New Delhi | Updated: April 26, 2016 12:18 pm
malegaon blast, malegaon A series of bomb blasts that took place on 8 September 2006 in Malegaon had claimed 37 lives.

TEN YEARS after nine Muslim men were arrested for the 2006 Malegaon blasts, and two years after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the court that it had no evidence against them, a sessions court Monday discharged them of all terror charges in the case.

Sessions Judge V V Patil declared that the eight men be “set at liberty” — the ninth accused, Shabbir Ahmed, died in an accident early last year — noting that there was not sufficient ground to proceed against them.

The court order comes at a time when cases involving alleged Hindu extremists are falling apart with witnesses turning hostile.

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Patil ordered the discharge of Noorul Huda, Raees Ahmed, Salman Farsi, Farogh Magdumi, Shaikh Mohammed Ali, Asif Khan, Mohammed Zahid and Abrar Ahmed. Two of them, Shaikh Mohammed Ali and Asif Khan, will remain in jail because they have been convicted in the 7/11 train blasts case.

 

malegaon blast Dr Salman Farsi

The nine men had been arrested by the Maharashtra ATS for the Malegaon blasts on September 8, 2006 that killed 37 and injured over 100.

The ATS filed a chargesheet against them on December 21, 2006. The case was transferred to the CBI within two months of the chargesheet. The CBI investigation too pointed to the involvement of the nine men.

Later, the NIA was asked to probe the case and the agency arrested another set of people as accused in the case: Manohar Nawaria, Rajendra Chaudhary, Dhan Singh Shiv Singh, Lokesh Sharma, Sunil Joshi (dead), Ramchandra Kalsangra (wanted), Ramesh Mahalkar (wanted), Sandeep Dange (wanted) and a few others.

On Monday, three of the eight men discharged were present in the court room when Patil said: “You are discharged from the case, your application has been accepted.” Walking out of the court room, the men wept as they spoke on phone to their families in Malegaon.

“We are finally absolved of all false charges against us,” said Noorul Huda. He had been charged as accused number one in the case with the ATS claiming that the bombing conspiracy was hatched at his wedding in May 2006. “I am a legally free today. It’s a burden I carried for a decade, losing health, dignity and self-respect.”

The nine men spent more than five years in prison before being let out on bail in 2011 after the NIA took over investigation and arrested the other set of accused. The men had filed a discharge application in 2013 and would travel to Mumbai from Malegaon, twice a month, for proceedings in the case.

Ordering the discharge of the men, Patil said: “In my view, the basic foundation or the objective shown by ATS behind the blast is not acceptable to a man of ordinary prudence. I say so because there was ‘Ganesh immersion’ just prior to September 8, 2006… Had accused no. 1 to 9 any objective that there should be riots at Malegaon, then they ought to have planted bombs at the time of Ganesh immersion which would have caused death of most Hindu people. It seems to me highly impossible that accused no. 1 to 9 who are from Muslim community would have decided to kill their own people to create disharmony between the two communities, that too on a holy day i.e. Shab-e Barat.”

“It is significant to note that when the NIA in its further investigation pointed out accused no. 14 to 17 (Manohar Nawaria, Rajendra Chaudhary, Dhan Singh Shiv Singh, Lokesh Sharma), as offenders of the bomb blast at Malegaon and came to conclusion that accused no. 1 to 9 are innocent, this court as a post office cannot put a stamp of framing charges against them. In my view as the accused no. 1 to 9 are found innocent, the benefit of law must be given to them,” Patil stated in his order.

The court also took note of the NIA turnaround at the last hearing on April 12. Although in its reply on the discharge application, the NIA had pointed towards lapses in the ATS investigation and claimed that there was no evidence against them, special public prosecutor, Prakash Shetty, had opposed the application.

“At the time of first hearing of the matter, he (special PP) has canvassed that he has nothing to say except the reply filed by the NIA on the discharge applications. However, while replying to defence arguments, he made ulta face and strongly objected to the discharge,” the court said.

Meanwhile, NIA Director General Sharad Kumar welcomed the decision of the special court. “We had conducted a thorough and professional investigation into the case and submitted a chargesheet in court. Our probe had found different set of individuals to be involved in the blast. Our stand has been vindicated. We are very happy with the court order,” Kumar told The Indian Express.

He said the NIA had always maintained that its probe had not found any evidence against the men arrested by the Maharashtra ATS. “We also did not oppose their discharge. We only argued that it was not our call. It was in the hands of the court as we were given ‘further investigation’ of the case and not a ‘re-investigation’.”

By evening, there were celebrations in Malegaon where crackers were being burst. Maulana Abdul Hameed Azhari, who had gone to the Mumbai court, said, “The charges were not against the nine, but the entire Muslim community. We stand vindicated.”

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  1. A
    Abhinav Gour
    Apr 25, 2016 at 9:39 pm
    Cqco
    Reply
    1. U
      Ujala
      Apr 25, 2016 at 11:22 am
      So many INNOCENT MUSLIMS have been tortured and jailed by these Hindu fundamentalist, shame on the so called democratic India which provides NO Justice for Muslims and lower caste people
      Reply
      1. I
        Indics
        Apr 25, 2016 at 1:56 pm
        Now arrest all those buggers involved in falsely prosecuting and destroying lives of these 9 people.
        Reply
        1. M
          MyTake
          Apr 25, 2016 at 7:18 pm
          Hindu/Safron terror was the invention of Chidu M u l l a h (M u l l a h because he was using M u l l a h's time tested language) who hoped one day his "great invention" in line with Rahul hi's earlier observation will be in "sync" and cut some ice with his would be Master and that he will be rewarded with a great "thank you" position for himself and (may be) for members of his family! Great after retirement plan for generations but due to the "tryst" of destiny missed the opportunity to create a dynasty of his own! He wanted to upgrade his "caste" that the his are so appreciative of for its magic affect in Hindian politics!
          Reply
          1. M
            Myrake
            Apr 25, 2016 at 7:23 pm
            So many other important leads were deliberately ignored as found out by Times Now. They should be reopened and reinvestigated to bring the truth before the public. If Hindu terror group are to be found they should also be exposed.
            Reply
            1. H
              Harshit
              Apr 26, 2016 at 6:42 am
              Lolx..
              Reply
              1. H
                Harshit
                Apr 26, 2016 at 6:41 am
                The CBI and ATS report was also present in court but they were worthless...
                Reply
                1. A
                  ams
                  Apr 25, 2016 at 9:55 pm
                  tight slap to chaddis
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    Ahmed MK
                    Apr 25, 2016 at 3:34 pm
                    Indian security set up is infested with Hindutva ideology,they think killing muslims and prosecuting them is Nationalism and national security interest.
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Ahmed MK
                      Apr 25, 2016 at 3:28 pm
                      Muslims has been systematically targeted by Hindutva infested security agencies and intelligence set up without any evidence. lt;br/gt;They torture muslims to except Thier version of stories and do extra judicial killing and prosecution under pretext of Nationalism and national security interest.
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        mumbai
                        Apr 25, 2016 at 1:43 pm
                        modi is afraid of s now.
                        Reply
                        1. M
                          mumbai
                          Apr 25, 2016 at 1:45 pm
                          s have sternly warned modi. modi's seat is getting wet frequently. His yoga did not stop wetting his seat.
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Avinash
                            Apr 26, 2016 at 2:46 am
                            :)
                            Reply
                            1. B
                              Bijan Mohanty
                              Apr 25, 2016 at 3:54 pm
                              Innocents should not be punished and be kept above politics and religion.
                              Reply
                              1. C
                                C S
                                Apr 25, 2016 at 4:32 pm
                                It is a sad commentary on the criminal justice system in India . Whether the blast is in temple or in a mosque the Muslims are always the suspects. Now these innocent persons were incarcerated for so many years and their careers spoiled, will the govt grant them a handsome compensation and at the same time punish those who got the so-called confessions for the crimes not committed by them?
                                Reply
                                1. F
                                  fazalfaizi
                                  Apr 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm
                                  Islam and Muslims r really defamed around the world by medias and governments lt;br/gt;Please don't torture them
                                  Reply
                                  1. F
                                    fazalfaizi
                                    Apr 25, 2016 at 12:42 pm
                                    Terrobust Politicians failed and innocents ped
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      mohan
                                      Apr 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm
                                      First the UPA Govt arrests the real culprits who were involved in the bomb attacks.The police and ATS make lot of investigation and collect evidence to prove that these persons are the real culprits.Thereafter,politics and politicians like Diggy,Chiddu,Shindeand host of others jump into the fray to take these criminals out from the charges of planting bombs,explosives and criminal conspiracy to have the sympathy of muslims and their vote bank intact .Another set of gentelmen from hindu community are foisted and charged with the criminal act for which earlier the muslims were arrested.Now two versions of police is there and Congress Govt knowingly introduces an element of doubt as out of the two set of ppl who did the dirty job such a situation when there is doubt about the culpability of a person ,the court has got no other option but to acquit .The other set will also get acquital .But it has been done at a great cost to the security of the nation which was never a priority of the UPA.
                                      Reply
                                      1. S
                                        Shuchit
                                        Apr 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm
                                        Looking at you Display pic you need more of ram dev and sri sri then we the people of India do. Get well soon .
                                        Reply
                                        1. I
                                          Inayatullah Khan
                                          Apr 25, 2016 at 11:54 pm
                                          My heart goes out to the innocents. I wonder if they should thank the Indian justice system for their release or be sad for all these years of stigma and pain. No compensation, however large can be enough for what they had to go through.lt;br/gt;Court must take suo moto confidence and must hand out deterent punishment to the officials responsible for this travesty. lt;br/gt;Having said the above, I do not blame the agencies alone. We muslims are also to be blamed for the fact that name of Islam has certainly been used the world over by Muslims for deable acts of terrorism. As much as it is the duty of investigating agencies to ensure impartial trial, we Muslims also owe it to our motherland to keep eye on anti nationals among ourselves and not let islam be hijacked by them.
                                          Reply
                                          1. B
                                            babu
                                            Apr 25, 2016 at 9:35 pm
                                            Most of bombing done by help of rss
                                            Reply
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