The shutdown call given by a local NGO to seek release of the Muslim
youths arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case and a ban on
Hindutva terrorist organisations March 26 evoked mixed response in
While the Muslim dominated eastern
part of the town observed a near total shutdown, the other half of
the town remained partly closed even as normal life was disrupted
due to the strike.
No untoward incident is reported so
far and the bandh was totally peaceful.
Shops, hotels, markets in the eastern
part of the town remained closed since morning. Auto-rickshaws and
other public transport vehicles also remained off the roads.
The prominent places which were mostly
affected by the bandh include Qedwai Road, Old Agra Road, Bhikku
Chowk, Sulaimani Masjid area, the areas adjoining Jamiatus Salehat,
Golden Nagar, Mushawerat Chowk, Abdullah Nagar, Jaffar Nagar,
Jamhoor Nagar, Moti Pura, Qila, Rasoolpura, Chandanpuri gate.
The bandh call was given by Nidharmi
Sanghatna - a local NGO led by veteran socialist leader and former
minister Nihal Ahmed, which is fighting for the release of the
Muslim youths arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case. The NGO also
seeks a ban on Hindutva organisations allegedly involved in
A series of blasts 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 had been killed and
more than 300 were injured in the blasts, most of them being
The Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS)
investigation of the 2006 Malegaon blast is receiving flak ever
since it arrested the Muslim youths in the attack on a mosque in
which the victims were all Muslims. Doubts were raised over the
investigation also by the families of the victims.
After much of
an outcry the state government had decided to hand over the
investigation to the CBI. But it was done only after the ATS filed
its chargesheet accusing the Muslim youths of masterminding the
The case took an interesting turn when Swami Aseemanand,
one of the accused arrested in Mecca Masjid and other blast
cases, admitted in his confession made before a magistrate that the
Muslim youths arrested in 2006 blast case were not guilty.
The Nidharmi Sanghatna intensified its
effort to seek the release of these youths after the Special MCOCA
court in Mumbai March 15 rejected the bail application filed by the
accused after Swami Aseemanand's confession. Today's bandh call was
part of the NGO's effort to seek justice for these Muslim youths.