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2006 Malegaon blast case: Nine accused seek bail

January 17, 2011 18:18 IST
Nine Muslim men who were arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blasts and in jail for the past four years, on Monday moved a special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court seeking bail citing Swami Aseemanand's confession pointing to a right-wing group's involvement in the attack that killed 36 persons.

"From the confession it is clear that those responsible for the 2006 Malegaon blasts are persons far removed from the current accused," they said in the bail plea before the court. Further, the accused have said that they have been in jail for the past four years and there was no direct evidence of their involvement in the said offence and was only based on forcibly taken confession statement.

Nationalist Congress Party General Secretary Tariq Anwar met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to demand that the arrested Muslims be released immediately. "They should be released immediately as there is ample proof of Hindu radicals carrying out the Malegaon blasts," Anwar told mediapersons in New Delhi after the meeting.

Aseemanand, who was arrested last November for his alleged role in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts, in his confession, recorded before the magistrate last month, had said that a right-wing group was responsible for the 2006 blasts, which killed 37 people and injured over 100. The blasts took near Hamidia mosque in the Bada Kabristan area around 1.15 pm on Friday on September 8, 2006, after the Shab-e-Barat prayers.

The police had arrested nine persons -- Salman Farsi, Shabir Ahmed, Noorulhuda Doha, Rais Ahmed, Mohammed Ali, Asif Khan, Javed Sheikh, Farooque Ansari and Abrar Ahmed -- for their alleged involvement in the blasts. In December 2006, the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The special court has directed the investigation agency to file their reply to the bail plea by January 28.

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