More than 300 people at 62 different places in Malegaon sat for a
day-long dharna April 19 demanding release of the local youths
arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case and a ban on Hindutva
Despite intense heat, women and
children too joined the activists belonging to Nidharmiya Sanghatna
and holding placards and raising slogans sat on the prominent places
of this Muslim dominated town in North Maharashtra throughout the
day. At some places, they were also holding photographs of the nine
accused in jail since 2006-07.
At every chowk of the town including Malegaon Municipal Corporation,
Mushawerat Chowk, Hamidia Masjid, Bhikku Chowk, Shahid Ab Hameed
Road, Azad Nagar, HUDCO Colony, Qedwai Road, Ansar Road, Ajmal Chowk,
Abdullah Nagar, Jawhar Chowk and Nishat Road where the protesters
sat for the dharna, the atmosphere was tense but peaceful.
"As per our earlier plans, we had declared to hold the dharna at 50
different places of Malegaon. However, we had to arrange for 12 more
locations as more people joined the protests in the last minutes",
Buland Iqbal, one of the front leaders of Nidharmiya Sanghatna said
while speaking to ummid.com.
"This is a clear sign of the impatience and anger raging against the
government because of its inaction and injustice towards the
innocent people of Malegaon. The government should at least now read
the writing on the wall", he added.
About their demands, Buland Iqbal said, "Our demand is immediate
release of the innocent Muslim youths who are in jail since more
than four years and a ban on Hindutva organisations involved in
"Even now if the government does not concede to our legitimate
demands, we will be forced to intensify our protests even further",
he said adding, "We are holding a meeting tonight to discuss the
future course of action."
A series of blasts had struck Malegaon on September 08 in 2006 ahead
of Shab-e-Barat, a Muslim festival when thousands of people were
busy offering Friday prayers at the Hamidia Masjid. Another blast
occurred at nearby Mushawerat chowk few minutes later. 32 people
were killed and more than 300 were injured in the blasts, most of
them being children.
Later, the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) charge sheeted nine local
youths as conspirators in the case. However, doubts over the ATS
investigations were raised since the day one as one of the accused
who the ATS said planted the bomb was 600 kms away from Malegaon and
one other was in police custody at the time of incident.
The case took an unexpected turn when Swami Aseemanand, one of the
accused arrested in Mecca Masjid and other blast cases admitted his
role in the 2006 blast case. Following this the accused approached
the court for bail in January. The court however rejected their
application March 15 terming it to be premature.
Meanwhile, Dr Farogh Makhdoomi, one of
the accused continues to be on hunger strike since April 05
demanding speedy trial of his case. He is lodged in Mumbai's Arthur
Road jail where his health
condition is said to be deteriorating.