Mateen Hafeez TNN
Mumbai: Though chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had promised to discuss the arrests in connection with the 2006 Malegaon blasts with Union home minister P Chidambram, the relatives of the accused feel the state is dragging its feet over their plight.
Wives of nine suspects said the government is ignoring their demands since they belong to the minority community. “Though my husband was arrested and charged with conspiracy in the 2006 Malegaon blasts, there is no evidence against him,” claimed Aafiya, wife of Farogh Makhdoomi. Makhdoomi and eight others were arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for planning and executing three blasts in a Muslim cemetery and another blast at a chowk. “The case was first probed by the local police then handed over to the ATS. Later, the same case was transferred to the CBI which sat on the investigation for four years and did not try to find out the truth. In January this year, a fresh CBI team took over the probe. In April this year, the Union home ministry ordered the National Investigation Agency to investigate the case. So far five agencies have changed in one case. Are the government and the investigating agencies making a mockery of the judicial system?” Aafiya asked.
In January this year, Swami Aseemanand, arrested in connection with the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blast case, reportedly confessed before a magistrate that “his men had engineered the 2006 Malegaon blasts”.
After the Aseemanand’s arrest in the Hyderabad masjid blast case, another suspect, Shaikh Kaleemuddin, who was arrested by the police in Hyderabad, was released based on Aseemanand’s confession. “When the AP government can release Kaleemuddin after the truth was revealed, why has my husband been kept in jail for five years?” asked Qamar Jahan, wife of another suspect. Advocate Irfana Hamdani said, “We have provided all details to the investigators but they are sitting on our report. It’s not just a case of justice delayed but justice denied.”
The Times of India, August 16, 2011