A month after NIA filed its supplementary chargesheet in connection with the 2006 Malegoan blasts,an accused today challenged its legality,saying that further investigation in the case by the probe agency was totally “illegal”. Blast accused Dhan Singh,who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) along with three others,moved the Special MCOCA court saying that ATS had filed a chargesheet and the case was taken over by the CBI in 2007 which also filed a supplementary chargesheet.
“Whatever has been done by NIA,under the guise of further investigation is totally bad in law and hence the material collected by NIA has no legal sanctity,” the application said. It said that the material was collected by NIA without any authority of law and therefore all that can’t be looked into. Dhan Singh has sought that the investigation carried out by NIA be declared illegal. He has also prayed that if the court feels it proper,then his application may be sent to the Bombay High court for reference. The NIA is likely to file its reply on the application on July 22.
He has also moved another application in the court saying that he may be allowed to file a say in the discharge application filed by two accused – Mohammad Ali Alam Sheikh and Asif Khan Bashir Khan. Sheikh and Khan had filed a discharge application last week. Meanwhile another accused Manohar Singh has moved an application saying that his case was transferred to NIA without any “sufficient cause”.
“The matter without any sufficient cause was transferred to NIA for the purpose of political gains at the instigation of political parties and a deliberate attempt has been made to deviate the direction of the investigation,” read his application.In the application,Manohar Singh has also said that the investigation was transferred to the NIA with a specific purpose to “negate” earlier probe by the ATS. He said it was aimed at bringing forward a fresh account to suit their political bosses. “The NIA in its systematic predetermined design has been attempting to relieve the earlier accused of all charges and falsely implicate other innocent persons,” it said.
Manohar Singh also said that earlier when nine accused were granted bail,the NIA prosecutor virtually consented for the bail without adhering to the chargesheet filed by ATS and CBI or without divulging merits of the case. “NIA is not a super agency which supersedes the earlier investigation (carried out by ATS and CBI) and all that is stated by NIA cannot be said to be above suspicion,” it added.
The ATS had arrested nine accused – Noorul Huda Samsudoha (28),Shabbir Ahmed Masiullah (41),Raees Ahmed Rajab Ali Mansuri (35),Dr Salman Farsi Abdul Latif Aimi (40),Dr Farogh Iqbal Ahmed Magdumi (38),Mohammad Ali Alam Sheikh (42),Asif Khan Bashir Khan alias Junaid (35),Mohammad Zahid Abdul Majid Ansari (31) and Abrar Ahmed Gulam Ahmed (38) – in connection with the 2006 blasts.
However the NIA after taking over the investigations did not oppose their bail applications and subsequently all were granted bail.The NIA had later investigated the case and found that the blast was the handiwork of Hindu right wing groups and arrested Lokesh Sharma,Dhan Singh,Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary. They were chargesheeted last month.
The NIA’s focus shifted on the right wing groups after Swami Aseemanand,an accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast,made a confession that such outfits were involved in the Malegoan blasts. The bombings were part of a series of explosions that had taken place on September 8,2006 in Malegaon,a communally-sensitive town in Nashik district of Maharashtra,located about 300 kms from Mumbai.
The explosions,which caused the death of 37 people and injured over 125,had taken place in a Muslim cemetery,adjacent to a mosque,at around 1315 hours after the Friday prayers on the Shab-e-Baraat,a holy day. Most of the blast victims were Muslim pilgrims. According to police,two bombs attached to bicycles had exploded,triggering a stampede. Malegaon had seen another terror act in 2008 allegedly by right wing Hindu groups and Sadhvi Pragya Singh and former Lt Col Srikant Purohit were arrested in connection with it.