Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'Malegaon bomb blast' book released

Powerloom town's prominent journalist, Abdul Haleem Siddiqui's book, "Malegaon bomb blast" was released in a function last week. The 80-page book focuses on the two blasts the city suffered, first on September 8, 2006 and the September 29, 2008. The two blasts had killed around 37 and injured over 398 collectively. The book is a collection of stories from the victims' families, the survivors, the police investigation and the likely breakthrough. Around a dozen books have been published to Siddiqui's credit. The 42-year-old journalist, father of four, lives in Malegaon and is associated with Mumbai's leading urdu newspaper, The Urdu Times, as well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Court rejects bail plea of nine blast accused

Mateen Hafeez TNN

The Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of nine persons arrested for their alleged role in the 2006 Malegaon blasts. Lawyers representing the accused told TOI they would approach the Bombay high court against the order.

The suspects, seven of whom belong to Malegaon, had moved the court in January seeking bail on the basis of the confessional statement of Swami Aseemanand, a key accused in the blasts on the Samjhauta train and Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid.

In his confession before magistrate Deepak Dabas of the Tis Hazari court on December 18 last year, Aseemanand said the 2006 Malegaon blasts were the handiwork of right-wing groups.

Soon after Aseemanand’s confession, the nine suspects applied for bail and claimed they had no role in the serial blasts. After adjourning the hearing four times, Justice Y D Shinde on Tuesday rejected the bail application. “We will approach the high court for bail,” said Gulzar Azmi, secretary, Jamiatul Ulema in Mumbai. “The order is unexpected. We will read the order copy and then decide further action,” said senior defence lawyer S S Shaikh. Those arrested include unani doctors Salman Farsi and Farogh Makhdoomi, and mechanical engineer Asif Khan.

Maharashtra’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS) had arrested the nine suspected Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) members, alleging they wanted to disrupt law and order in the state. The ATS said that a Pakistani national, Muzammil, had come to make the bombs and stayed in Malegaon for a while. According to the ATS, he left the town before the blasts.

Malegaon’s residents had protested the arrests, claiming that Muslims could not have bombed the town’s mosque. The case was then handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The agency was unable to make a breakthrough in the case and could not arrest three wanted persons over four years.

The Times of India, March 16, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Aguva Committee - The Malegaon matchmaker

India may have taken to matrimonial websites in a big way in the age of the internet but Malegaon remains a rare exception. Neither does it bank upon traditional midwives and barbers to double up as matchmakers for its youth.

The eight lakh people of this town are privileged to have a unique cluster of 40-50 elders who form what is called the Aguva committee. It is this group that personally recommends the right match and takes the lead in the celebrations as well.

The committee goes through each application with a fine comb, meets and interviews each youngster and his family and conducts a thorough background check of the candidate, helped by the fact that its members live in different parts of the city. Having sifted the grain from the chaff, it recommends only those profiles that are suited to one another.
Once the wedding is arranged, the wise men lead the procession like the head of the family, bearing gifts for the bride or groom's party. Each side treats them like guests of honour at the `baraat'. The aguva committee is an informal panchayat few towns can boast of, and one that serves its community well.

March 3, 2011