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Bail pleas of four accused in Malegaon 2006 blast case rejected


Mumbai: A special court here on on Monday rejected the bail applications of four accused in the Malegaon 2006 serial bomb blasts case.

The four – Manor Singh, Rajendra Chaudhary, Dhan Singh and Lokesh Sharma – had filed the bail plea after eight Muslims accused in the same case were discharged and all the charges against them dropped in April.

Special NIA-MCOCA court Judge V. V. Patil rejected the bail pleas of the four who claimed that there was no evidence against them and they had been falsely implicated in the case.

Their lawyers argued that many of the things the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it had recovered from them are easily available in the market.

Opposing the bail pleas, the prosecution rejected the defence arguments and said there was sufficient evidence available against them which was of a serious nature.

“At this stage, it appears that prima facie the evidence collected by NIA shows that the accused, along with absconding accused, prepared bombs and planted them, and in the explosion more than 31 people died and another 312 innocent people were injured,” the judge noted.

Bearing in mind the nature of the crime and the charges levelled against them, the accused did not deserve bail, he added.

Two powerful bombs which were placed on bicycles exploded near the Hamidia Mosque in Malegaon on September 8, 2006 after the Friday afternoon prayers on the occasion of the solemn ‘Shab-E-Barat’ when special prayers are offered for the departed souls.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had probed the case first and arrested nine Muslim youth, some of whom were allegedly linked to the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India.

They were Noor-ul Huda Samsudha, Raees Ahmed Rajabali Mansuri, Salman Farsi Abdul Latif Aimi, Farogh Iqbal Ahmed Magdumi, Shaikh Mohammed Ali Alam, Asif Bashir Khan, M. Zahid Abdul Majid Ansari and Abrar Ahmed Ghulam Ahmed and had all spent minimum five years in jail after they were arrested, said advocate Shahid Nadeem Ansari who represented some of the accused.

While one accused – Shabbir Ahmed Masiullah – died during the pendency of the trial, four others – including a Pakistani national – were declared as absconders, Ansari said.

The NI) stepped into the picture after Swami Aseemananda confessed in another case about the alleged involvement of Hindu right-wing groups in the Malegaon 2006 blast case.

Last April, the NIA informed the Special Designated Court that it had no evidences against the nine Muslim accused and thereafter the charges against them were dropped by the court.

Subseqeuntly, the Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra (Arshad Madni group) demanded action against officials of the state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) for “falsely implicating” innocent Muslim youths in various terror cases.

Malegaon, a sensitive Muslim-dominated town around 300 km northeast of Mumbai, was rocked by another blast on September 29, 2008, allegedly masterminded by certain Hindu fundamentalist groups.—IANS

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