Sunday, November 6, 2011

Are loopholes in ATS investigation showing?

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

The bail granted to nine Malegaon youth has left the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad (ATS) red-faced. Malegaon residents have, over the course of the case, cast doubts over the ATS probe.

The ATS had invoked MCOCA against these accused. “The police had 180 days to file a chargesheet. The agency did it in just 54 days. We don’t understand why the ATS was in a hurry to file it earlier. This raises serious questions on their probe,” said Maulana Abdul Qayyum, a member of Jamiat-ul-Ulema, which bore the legal expenses.

Abdul Malik Bakra, an activist, said the ATS did not even submit the complete forensic and voice sample test reports along with the chargesheet.

K P Raghuvanshi, who was the then ATS chief, was not available for comment.

One of the questions raised is regarding ATS’ claims about involvement of Mohammed Zahid, an imam from a Yavatmal mosque. The ATS said he planted a bomb in Malegaon and left for Yavatmal the same day. “The distance between the two towns is around 1,000 km. How can you travel 1,000 km in just 12 hours in a state transport bus? The ATS said Zahid was in Malegaon on that day and planted the bomb, while more than 250 Yavatmal residents filed affidavits saying Zahid was in Yavatmal on September 8, the day of the blasts,” said a resident.

Thirdly, the police said a Pakistani national, Muzammil, had come to Malegaon and assembled the bombs. But ATS could not provide further information on his visit. Police said that 45 bombs were manufactured in Malegaon. “Surprisingly, they could not recover a single bomb,” another activist said.

Moreover, when the Malegaon blasts took place, Shabbir Masiullah, one of the arrested accused, was already in Mumbai police’s custody, residents said.


September 8, 2006
| Four RDX bombs went off in Malegaon, killing 31 people and injuring 297. The bombs were planted on bicycles and exploded between 1.45pm and 1.55pm. The first three went off outside Hameediya mosque in Bada Qabrastan and the fourth exploded at Mushawerat Chowk in central Malegaon. The bombs contained RDX, ammonium nitrate, nitrite and oil fuel.

December 21, 2006 | The ATS filed a 4,500-page chargesheet against the suspects. The case was handed over to the CBI the same day

Noor-ul-Huda (24)
Occupation | Labourer Charge | Bomb planter at the mosque

Shabbir Masiullah (34) Occupation | Owner of a battery shop Charge | Conspirator

Raees Ahmed Rajjab Ali (35) Occupation | Masiullah’s brother-in-law, partner in Masiullah’s battery unit Charge | Conspirator and bomb planter

Salman Farsi (40) Occupation | Unani doctor Charge | Conspirator

Farogh Makhdoomi (40) Occupation | Unani doctor Charge | Conspirator

Mohd Ali Shaikh (45), earlier arrested in the 11/7 train blasts case Occupation | A Govandi resident, labourer Charge | Supplying RDX to Malegaon accused

Asif Bashir Khan alias Junai (40), earlier arrested in the 11/7 train blasts case Occupation | A mechanical engineer from Jalgaon Charge | Supplying RDX

Mohd Zahid Abdul Majeed (35) Occupation | Imam Charge | Planter

Abrar Ahmed Saeed (35) Occupation | Powerloom unit owner Charge | Planter

The Times of India, November 6, 2011

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