Mumbai court discharged nine accused of Malegaon blast
Mumbai: In a major development, a court here on Monday dropped charges framed against nine Muslim youths for their alleged role in the September 2006 Malegaon blast case due to lack of evidence. At least 37 people had died in the Malegaon blast.
The order was passed by Sessions Judge VV Patil while heading a discharge applications filed by the accused. One accused in the case had died, while six were released earlier in 2011 on bail. Two other accused have been convicted in the 2006 train blast 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.
The Maharashtra ATS, which first probed the case, had arrested 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.
The case was later handed over to the CBI, which endorsed the findings of Maharashtra ATS, before it was transfered 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.
Following Aseemanand's confession, the accused moved the court with discharge applications. In May this year, NIA filed its charge sheet in the case against four accused-- Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary, contradicting the findings of the ATS and the CBI.