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Dharna at 62 places of Malegaon; demand for local youths' release intensifies

Tuesday April 19, 2011 11:48:02 AM, Staff Reporter

Activists demanding release of the local youths arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case are sitting for a dharna near Malegaon Municipal Corporation April 19.


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Malegaon: 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 terrorist organisations.


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

"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 terrorist activities."

"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.







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