Mateen Hafeez TNN
Mumbai: While NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s statement that Muslim youths arrested for the 2006 Malegaon blasts are innocent was welcomed by a major section of the community, NGOs and lawyers working to secure bail for them demanded party leader R R Patil’s resignation.
Pawar who attended an iftar party at Haj House on Saturday said, “I know that the boys arrested for the Malegaon blasts are innocent. I was the first person to say it one-and-a-half years ago.” Referring to Samjhauta train blast accused Swami Aseemand’s confession, he said, “The real culprits, some of whom have admitted to their crime, should be arrested.”
Reacting to the comment, Fareed Batatawala of Muslim Front said, “When he (Pawar) knows that the boys are innocent, why is he not doing anything for their release? He should seek an explanation from Patil and if needed Patil must resign. We also demand ATS and Malegaon police officials concerned should be suspended.”
The Times of India, August 223, 2011