Mumbai court acquits all nine accused in 2006 Malegaon blasts case
Mumbai: A Mumbai court today acquitted all nine accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case citing lack of evidence to convict them. Out of the nine discharged, one is dead, six are out on bail and two are convicted in the Mumbai 7/11 train blast case.
The order was passed by Sessions Judge VV Patil while heading a discharge applications filed by the accused. The court’s decison came during a hearing on the discharge application filed by the Muslim men accused of the September 2006 Malegaon blasts.
In the last hearing in the matter on April 12, the counsel for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Prakash Shetty told the court that the agency opposed the plea to discharge the accused at this stage. This was a change from the earlier stand of the NIA, which in a reply filed to this application in 2014, had questioned the ATS case against the nine accused.
These people constitute the first set of accused in the case that left 37 people dead and several others injured. Threee agencies are investigatinbg the matter – the CBI, ATS and the NIA.
The nine accused as per the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are Noorul Huda Samsudoha, Shabbir Ahmed Masiullah, Raees Ahmed Rajab Ali Mansuri, Salman Farsi Abdul Latif Aimi, Farogh Iqbal Ahmed Magdumi, Mohammad Ali Alam Sheikh, Asif Khan Bashir Khan alias Junaid, Mohammad Zahid Abdul Majid Ansari and Abrar Ahmed Gulam Ahmed.
Asif Khan and Mohd Ali are convicted in the 7/11 blasts in Mumbai. While Asif has been handed death penalty, Ali is serving a life sentence. One accused in the case had died, while six were released earlier in 2011 on bail.
The NIA, which took over the case later, gave a no-objection to the bail application filed by these nine men in 2011 and booked another set of accused — Manohar Nawaria, Rajendra Chaudhary, Dhan Singh, Shiv Singh, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Ramchandra Kalsangra, Ramesh Mahalkar, Sandeep Dange and a few others — in the case.
The 2006 bombings were part of a series of explosions that had rocked Malegaon, a communally sensitive power-loom town in Nashik district of Maharashtra, located about 300 km from Mumbai. The blasts had occurred in a Muslim cemetery, adjacent to a mosque, after Friday prayers on Shab-e-Barat.