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Activists seek new probe in 2006 Malegaon blasts

Vicky Nanjappa | November 06, 2008 15:41 IST

The Malegaon blasts case has opened the proverbial can of worms. After the alleged involvement of right wing Hindu fundamentalists, the arrest of Lieutenant Colonel Srikant Purohit on Wednesday has managed to rattle the top brass of the government and the Indian Army [Images].

Several residents of this textile town in Maharashtra are now demanding another investigation in the 2006 serial blasts, which claimed 37 lives.

Malegaon blasts: Colonel Srikant Purohit arrested

Human rights activist Aleem Faizee, who has worked with the victims of the Malegaon blasts, says that the town has remained calm in the aftermath of the recent arrests.

"We had always demanded that some of the right wing Hindu activists be questioned in connection with the blasts, but our voices were never heard. Today, our stand has been vindicated," he says.

I am being framed, claims Sadhvi Pragya

The Muslim community has also heaved a sigh of relief after being at the receiving end of investigations and allegations. "We, the people of Malegaon, always lived in fear of being arrested. But now, with the investigation making things clear, there is a sense of calm. It is unfair to say that all the blasts are carried out by members of the minority community. All we want is a free and fair investigation," said Faizee.

He pointed out that Zahid Ansari, one of the men arrested in connection with the 2006 Malegaon blasts, continues to languish in jail.

Malegaon blast case

According to Faizee, the investigations into the 2006 blasts had several loopholes and  even fact finding committees had declared that Ansari was innocent. On the day of the blast, Ansari was in Phool Sawangi, a village 600 kms away.

"We have several eyewitness accounts, from both Hindus and Muslims, saying that he was not in Malegaon at that time," said Faizee.

Wounded hearts

The recent revelations in the 2008 Malegaon blast case have given hope to Ansari's famiy. Ansari, who was working as an Imam, had been arrested barely five months after his marriage.

"We are moving the Supreme Court this week, seeking the release of all those arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case. Further, we will also ask for a direction to the government to re-investigate the 2006 blasts case," said Faizee.

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