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

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