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Malegaon blasts case: Like Kalsangra, Dange, no trace of three Muslims accused

Their co-accused acquitted; families of 3 wait for their news for 10 years now.

Written by Zeeshan Shaikh | Mumbai |
January 2, 2017 1:50:00 am
malegaon, malegaon blast, malegaon blast case, malegaon 2006 blasts, Mahiboob Mujawar, disappearance, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange, National Investigation Agency, NIA, mumbai blast, india news, indian express news Mohammed Amin, father of ‘missing’ accused Munawwar. (Source: Express)

The claims of suspended assistant police inspector Mahiboob Mujawar over the disappearance of Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, two accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, has made the National Investigation Agency assure a Mumbai court that it would probe the matter. However, Kalsangra and Dange are not the only men who have disappeared after being named as conspirators in the Malegaon bomb blasts cases.

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Three Muslim men who were accused of involvement in the 2006 Malegaon blasts — initially deemed to have been caused by SIMI activists — are also ‘missing’. While police records show them as absconding, activists in Malegaon claim their disappearance is far more surprising as all the eight Muslim men who were their co-accused in the case were discharged last year by a Mumbai court.

The Maharashtra ATS and then the CBI had chargesheeted 13 Muslim men for their role in the 2006 Malegaon blasts. A total of nine were arrested, while four others, including a Pakistani, were declared absconders. The three Indians include Munawwar Ahmed — the then 36-year-old who was accused of being one of the main conspirators who directed that the blasts be carried out at at Bada Kabrastan and Hamidiya Masjid complex.

The second was Riyaz Ahmed Shafi Ahmed, accused of placing an IED at the blast site. The third was Ishtiyaq Ahmed Mohammed Isaaq, deemed a conspirator in the case. The families of all the three have been waiting for news of their sons since 2006. “The cases in which they were framed have fallen through. I fail to understand why they have not been found yet,” said 64-year-old Mohammed Amin, the father of Munawwar.

A former muezzin, the sexagenarian is now living a life of penury. “They say the biggest pain of a parent is to lose their child. For us, this pain is double because we do not even know whether our son is dead or alive. I may seem normal to you but this is false normalcy,” Amin had said in an earlier interview with The Indian Express outside his ramshackle tin-roofed house in Pharamacy Nagar on the outskirts of Malegaon.

A former member of SIMI, Munawwar had had run-ins with the law, but his family claims he was never a terrorist. In 2007, the Uttar Pradesh police had claimed that they were on the lookout for the trio, as they were probable suspects in the blasts that had taken place in court complexes in UP.

An affidavit filed by Muslim activists from Malegaon in court had stated that Munawwar was last seen inside a police vehicle. Amin claims that the entire case was a fabrication. “I do not know where he is. Whether he has been hidden by the police or run away out of fear. I just want to know his fate before I die,” Amin said.

The family of Riyaz Ahmed Shafi Ahmed is also seeking his whereabouts. A worker of SIMI, he was earlier interrogated by the police for his role in the Aurangabad arms haul, but then let go.

“They would detain him and send him back even before the blast took place. There used to be heavy surveillance over him and on our house. I fail to understand that in-spite of this monitoring, how he could have been a part of the conspiracy or even disappeared, as the police claims,” said Nizam Khan, his younger brother.

Activists claim that the disappearance of the three needs to be properly investigated.

“In view of the disclosures that have been made now by a police officer, an investigation needs to be undertaken into what happened to these three individuals. People have been discharged from this case, so technically, there is no case against these three. They had been under heavy police surveillance even before the blast took place. It is surprising that someone could disappear in-spite of such heavy surveillance,” said Irfana Hamdani, a lawyer who had earlier represented the Malegaon blast accused.

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