Tuesday, November 1, 2011

‘NIA won’t oppose bail for accused’


Mateen Hafeez TNN

Union home minister P Chidambaram on Monday announced that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will not oppose the bail plea of the nine accused arrested in the 2006 Malegaon bomb blasts case.

Meanwhile, NIA officials on Monday informed the special MCOCA court in Mumbai that it would file additional chargesheets against the nine accused on November 4. It will also file its statement on the same day on the bail application of the accused, all suspected SIMI members. “As far as the NIA is concerned, they are not opposing the bail. Whether the bail will be granted or not, it is not for me to say,” Chidambaram told reporters. Asked whether the move not to oppose the bail meant that the nine people arrested by the ATS were innocent, Chidambaram said, “No, until anyother person who is involved is actually found and chargesheeted and until the old chargesheet is revised, we can’t come to any conclusion. The investigation is covering the other directions as well.”

He added, “The NIA has concluded that it is no longer necessary to keep them in judicial custody and, therefore, the NIA will not oppose the bail.” All the accused are in Arthur Road prison since their arrest in 2006.

MCOCA judge Y D Shinde adjourned the hearing till November 19. After Swami Aseemanand’s confession, which pointed to a right-wing group’s involvement, the accused filed bail pleas. Aseemanand was arrested for his alleged role in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts. “From the confession, it is clear that those responsible for the 2006 Malegaon blasts are persons far removed from the current accused,” they said in the bail plea.

The Times of India, November 1, 2011

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