Malegaon blasts case: 8 accused discharged
A Special Mumbai Court on Monday discharged all eight accused of 2006 Malegaon blast case. The nine men were arrested in 2006 by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for the Malegaon blasts that killed 37 and injured over 100. The court dropped all charges against them. Of the 9 discharged, one person is dead, six are out on bail and two are convicted in Mumbai 7/11 train blast case.
Sessions Judge VV Patil while hearing discharge applications said that he was accepting the discharge application filed by the eight accused as there was no evidence to prove their guilt. Reacting to the judgment, one of the men Raees Ahmed, said, “Although justice was delayed; it’s a big thing that it is delivered.”
In November 2011, they were granted bail. One died during trial. Later, CBI, which took over the investigations, also confirmed the charges against them. Subsequently, NIA was asked to probe the case and the agency arrested another set of people, who continue to be accused in the case. The blasts at Malegaon, around 300km from Mumbai, on September 8, 2006 claimed 37 lives, leaving over 125 injured. The town witnessed another blast in 2008, for which Sadhvi Pragya Singh, serving army officer Srikant Purohit and others were arrested.
The NIA had in August 2013 told a Mumbai court that it had found no evidence to link the nine Muslims arrested in the case. The Maharashtra ATS, which first probed the case, had arrested nine persons. The case was later handed over to the CBI, which endorsed the findings of Maharashtra ATS, before it was transferred to NIA after it came into existence in 2009. After the confessions made by Swami Aseemanand, an accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast, the role of Hindu right wing organisation ‘Abhinav Bharat’ in the blasts came to light.