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2006 Malegaon blasts: CBI charge sheet, a dereliction of duty? -- A review
Sunday, March 14, 2010 06:38:11 PM, Mustufa Khan
The Qabristan gate where the blast had shattered Malegaon in September 2006
(File Photo: ummid.com)
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The CBI charge sheet in the case of Malegaon 2006 bomb blasts is a faint lackadaisical attempt in 75 odd pages to show that the so called top agency has done investigation according to the letter of the mandate of the government and not the spirit. It belies all the expectations of the people and smacks of half hearted filling the dots. It mentions that Abrar Ahmad had got his mobile number 9823436801 activated on June 29, 2006. It was deactivated on February 27, 2007. The Vodafone agency Jaimala Trading in Somgaon (Soygaon) and its head office in Pune do not have any other detail than copies of his ration card and national ID. The company has not been able to retrieve the conversation on the phone which Abrar carried on among others with the police including SP Rajwardhan. In fact the name of Rajwardhan does not appear anywhere in the charge sheet.
All this is far from the truth. Rajwardhan is the first respondent in a petition case currently heard by the Bombay high court. The petitioners are the accused in 2006 Malegaon blast. One of them is Abrar whose CAF (Customer Application Form) shows that the above mentioned phone was activated on September 18, 2006. This information is cryptically super scribed on the top of the page as “Act” and below it the date “18/9”. There is also another mention of date as 18/9/06.It is very queer that CAF has not been filled in properly. How could the company accept the form in the first place unless it was forwarded by some influential person? If this were so why did that person do it?
The CBI has disingenuously not touched upon the main issue. It has not investigated such crucial fact that the ATS had transgressed its bounds and had been handling the 2006 case which was formally being investigated by the Malegaon police then. Rajwardhan was the rural SP of Malegaon at that time. The DCP of ATS had submitted a report to the government on the basis of which the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) AP Sinha had issued an order to intercept the phone 9823436801. The order does not mention the subscriber. Does it mean that the name of the subscriber was deliberately planted later on? Is the name added by the same influential person? If so then it would amount to framing the subscriber in the blast case.
The CAF does not have the signature of Abrar at two places and activation is not mentioned at the specified space left blank. No agency would accept such anomaly unless overwhelming powerful influence is brought to coerce the agent to comply with the authority. The phone number is entered in handwriting rather than the sticker of number pasted!
The incriminating sentence of Zahid A Majid Ansari of Phulsangvi, Yawatmal, cannot stand scrutiny in the court of law. Analyzing only six words (haan, mader chod, us ke baad, Bolna, pandrah, nikal) according to acoustic and linguistic features need to be corroborated with circumstantial evidence.
According to Malegaon City PS II 3088/06 there were four bombs planted on September 8 and one fake bomb on September 13 2006 at 11.50 hours. The charge sheet strangely says about the last bomb: “some unknown persons planted bomb like object, knowing that it was not a bomb, at Mohammadiya masjid at communally sensitive Perry chowk with the object of causing disharmony between Hindus and Muslims in Malegaon with the object to cause riots.” This has been proved to be wrong as no Hindu-Muslim riots have taken place anywhere let alone in Malegaon following a blast. How do the police claim to know that the bombers knew that of the five bombs planted the last one would not kill anyone? This does not square with the claim that Perry chowk is communally very sensitive. The other blast sites at Hamidiya mosque and Mushawarat chowk are in Muslim ghettos which are not communally sensitive at all. Moreover, violence erupted at Azadnager police station when the irate mob went berserk and police opened fire at the protesters.
If the bomb at the mosque in Perry chowk was planted by the same accused why would they not like to kill more people when they had already killed 31 and injured 312 others? If the police claimed that the terrorist attacks were aimed at creating enmity between Hindus and Muslims and causing communal riots why did the same accused suddenly change their heinous design and played a hoax on the people of the town? Why did they choose 11.50 peak traffic hours to create a tamasha at the chowk? Would this have helped them? Something is definitely fishy about the fake bomb.
A few pages of the charge sheet deal with Amin Chowdhary’s refuting what Abrar has said about how he came to know about the involvement of the Hindus in the blasts. The CBI did not care to look at what Amin had said in his earlier affidavit of October 20, 2006. In this he told those things that corroborate what Abrar had said. Therefore, the later statement of Amin is a clear attempt to protect Rajwardhan as Amin, as well as Abar’s wife and her father Iqbal Chowdhary, was under pressure from Rajwardhan. Abrar alleges in his affidavit submitted to special MOCOCA court of Judge YD Shinde on April 18,2009 that Rajwardhan had distributed more than twenty five lakh rupees among his in laws in addition to flats given to them in places like Mumbai and Bhiwandi.
As a matter of fact CBI has simply supported the charges framed by Malegaon police under Rajwardhan and ATS under Raghuvanshi against the accused without carrying out a proper investigation as it is obliged under section 169 and section 173(8) of CrPC.
CBI report is in defiance of and in disregard to the popular feeling of discontent over Police/ATS performance prompted by the police sketch of two bombers who had bought the new cycles, the disappearance of a body with fake beard and torso missing, the mysterious suicide of Pervez Azhar who had reportedly seen the bomb planted and talked to the planter which the police failed to account for, etc.
Amin's disavowal of Abrar's claim is bizarre. It is human curiosity to know "who done it." Sherlock Holmes would smirk at the puerile police and detectives of our agencies. When Abrar knew the persons responsible for the blasts would Amin not like to hear the names, like one of the monkeys closing its ear so that it does not hear evil? Amin says: "Abrar came to me around 20 hours (8 PM) and said that he knew who were behind the incident. But he did not give any name." Amin then says, "main ne kaha ya to naam batao mujhe ya to police ko naam batao". "Then Abrar remarked that he would talk about the matter later." Amin also denied what Abrar said about Vardha. He says that his sons did not donate blood for the injured in the blasts. They did not go with Abrar on 8-9-2006 anywhere. He also says that it is white lie "srasar jhoot" that Abrar gave out the names of the men behind the bombing on the night of 8-9-2006 at the house of his father in law Iqbal Chowdhary. Such vehement disavowal or "srasar jhoot" would make one recall what Albert Camus said about his book The Outsider. "Lying is not only saying what isn't true. It is also, in fact especially, saying more than is true and, in the case of the human heart, saying more than one feels."
The case is sub judice and the court would better find out the truth, especially how could the phone company not keep the caller data record (CDR) when the Additional Chief Secretary had ordered the interception of the phone 9823436801, which the ATS were already monitoring.
The local police had investigated the case until October 23 2006 when it was entrusted to ATS. CBI took over on December 21 only one day after ATS submitted its charge sheet. The order of the Additional Chief Secretary dated September 20, 2006 comes forty eight hours after the activation of mobile given to Abrar. Did the government wait for or connive at this switch back movement in investigation?
The writer is retired as a professor at MSG College, Malegaon
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