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Malegaon rejoice as 'innocents' granted bail ahead of Eid

Saturday November 05, 2011 08:51:58 PM, Staff Reporter

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Malegaon: Even though the Muslims accused of conspiring the 2006 Malegaon blast would not be able to celebrate Eid in the town as their bail papers would be completed only by Tuesday, relatives and kin of the accused, and local residents alike greeted the court order by distributing sweets.


"This is the moment we all were waiting for since last many years and many Eids", Iqbal Makhdumi, a retired teacher and father of Dr Farogh Makhdumi said while speaking to


Dr Farogh Makhdumi is one of the accused in the 2006 Malegaon blast case who was chargesheetd by the Maharashtra ATS in 2007.


"Though they will not be here in Malegaon with us for Eid, it is indeed pleasant to realise that the testing time is over and they will be with us after few days. That will be our real Eid", a beaming Iqbal Makhdoomi said.


"The joy of my daughter-in-law and grandchildren is inexpressible. They hoped the court release order would have come few days earlier and Farogh would have been with us for Eid", he added.


The Special MCOCA Court order which granted the nine accused bail today afternoon coincided with Eid-ul-Adha, one of the major Muslim festivals which falls on November 07.


The feelings of Jameel Masihullah, the elder brother of Shabbir Masihullah, the other accused in the case, are also same.


"No words can describe our feelings. Though there is a pain that it took more than four years for these innocents to come out of jail, the court order is satisfying in the sense that the steps toward correcting the mistakes done five years back have begun", he said.


Iqbal Makhdoomi and Jameel Masihulla during the last about five years tried hard to get legal assistance and political support in favour of the accused. Along with their own kin, the duo also worked for the other accused as they were not economically so strong and could not afford to travel to Mumbai and Delhi for legal and political assistance.


Local leaders and residents too are excited after hearing the court order.


"The court order is the first step toward vindicating our stand that these youth are innocent and were wrongly framed in the case", Maulana Abdul Hameed Azhari, the front leader of Kul Jamaati Tanzeem said.


Kul Jamaati Tanzeem comprising of the religious heads of different Muslim sects was formed after the 2006 blasts to fight the cases of the accused. They ran the campaign for the release of the accuse which is perhaps longest in the history of the town.


"The Court order is a relief for everyone as demands for the release of these innocents were being raised for the last many years", Shakeel Ahmed, a shopkeeper said.


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. 37 people were killed and more than 300 were injured in the blasts, most of them being children - all Muslims.


Demands were raised for fair probe in the case as immediately after the incident rumours started taking rounds that sectarian differences among the Muslims or revenge of 2001 communal riots were the reasons for the blast and investigations pointed fingers at local Muslims. The government and the probe agencies did not pay any heed to these demands and arrested six Muslim youth allegedly belonging to banned Muslim outfit SIMI one after the another for conspiring the terror attack. They inducted three more Muslims - one from Malegaon and the other two from Jalgaon, who were already in jail at the time of the incident.


Ironically, Zahid Ahmed, one of the accused in the case and later chargesheeted as one of the planters, was arrested from Phoolsawangi - a town 600 kms from Malegaon. There is evidence that the man was there on September 08, 2006 when the blasts took place in Malegaon.


However, nothing stopped the investigating agencies from arresting these youths and chargesheeting them in a crime which now becoming clear that they were not responsible of. The mistake was carried forward even by the CBI when it took over the investigation of case after much of an outcry.


The case, however, took a surprising turn when Swami Aseemanand, allegedly involved in Ajmer, Mecca Masjid and Samjhuata Express blasts, confessed that Hindu extremists, some of them already wanted in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, were also behind the 2006 Malegaon blast. The development forced the government to hand over the case to the NIA which after thorough investigations of the case on the line of Aseemanand's confession and fresh brain mapping and polygraph tests of the nine accused finally gave indications in the court today that prima-facie it did not find any proof against them.


Incidentally, the NIA's stand in the court and statements by ministers including Home Minister P Chidamabaram, which also appeared in the media with regular intervals in the past few months, raise several questions in the mind of the people.


"When NIA indicates that their probe did not find any evidence against the accused why they do not discharge the cases filed against them?", asked Iqbal Makhdumi.


"It is now the time for the government to openly come with a declaration that the investigating agencies did mistakes and wrongly framed the innocents in the case. And, as the government in Andhra Pradesh did, it should also withdraw all the cases against these innocent youths who have already suffered a lot by spending more than four years without any fault", Maulana Azhari said.









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