In a relief to the nine Muslims earlier arrested in the Malegaon 2006 serial blasts case,the National Investigation Agency (NIA) told a Mumbai court on Thursday that it has found no evidence to link them to the attack.
Samjhauta accused claims his group planted 06 Malegaon bombs
The evidence collected by NIA in further investigation is not in consonance with the evidence collected earlier by the ATS and CBI. No evidence was found in support of the conclusion drawn in final report filed by ATS and supplementary final report submitted by CBI recommending prosecution of nine accused, the NIA said in its first official statement before the sessions court.
The ATS had earlier filed a chargesheet against 14 men with alleged SIMI links. Of these,nine were arrested immediately after the blasts,and released on bail in November 2011.
The NIAs statement today was filed in response to the discharge applications filed by eight of the nine men. Special MCOCA judge Yatin D Shinde will now decide on the applications on September 7.
In its seven-page reply,the NIA pointed out contradictions in the ATS and CBI claims,listing reasons for not finding evidence in their claims. For instance,it said,the ATS chargesheet said soil samples recovered from the godown of one of the accused,Shabbir Masiullah alias Batterywala,showed RDX traces. But when the NIA examined two star witnesses,both Malegaon residents,on whose statements the case was built,they reportedly denied that they had gone to the godown or testified to any recovery from the spot.
The case,originally handled by the Maharashtra ATS and later handed over to the CBI,was transferred to the NIA following a confession made by Swami Aseemanand,an accused in the 2007 Samjhauta blasts case. Aseemanand confessed before a magistrate that the Malegaon blasts were executed by a Hindu group. Though the NIA chargesheet did not name Aseeman and as an accused,sources said a supplementary chargesheet will soon be filed naming the other accused.
Besides Masiullah,the others who were arrested in the case are Noorul Huda Samsudoha,Raees Ahmed Rajjab Ali Mansuri,Salman Farsi Abdul Latif Aimi,Farogh Iqbal Ahmed Magdumi,Shalik Mohammad ali Alam Amanat Ali Shaikh,Aasif Khan Bashir Khan,Mohmed Zahid Abdul Majid Ansari and Abrar Ahmed Gulam Ahmed.