In a near unanimous decision,
people of Malegaon plan to hold a massive protest this Thursday on
August 6 - the 2006 blast anniversary.
Thursday coincides with
Shab-e-Barat, a festival when thousands of Muslims thronged to the
Qabristan for special prayers. Three years before in 2006 on
the same day three powerful bombs had exploded in a span of few
minutes killing more than thirty people and injuring over three
hundred, many of the victims being the children.
Thursday’s demonstration is aimed at
pressing the government for release of the Muslim youths, who
according to the Malegaonians, are falsely implicated in the 2006
blast case, speedy completion of the CBI investigations and various other
related demands, brought on several occasions in the past three years to the
notice of the Central as well as the State Government.
“Since the Shab-e-Barat day in
2006 on September 8 when the terrorists had first struck the town,
we are pleading to the Central as well as the State Government for
unbiased and speedy CBI investigations of the case and release of
the innocent people. But the government is not paying any attention to our
legitimate demands leaving us with no option but to resort to the
streets and hold demonstrations”, said Maulana Abdul Hameed Azhari
while speaking to ummid.com and added, "This, like other citizens in
the country, is our democratic right."
Maulana Abdul Hameed Azhari is one of
the front leaders of the Kul Jamaati Tanzeem - an organization
formed immediately after the 2006 blast and comprised of religious
leaders from all Muslim sects. One of the aims behind its foundation,
Tanzeem leaders say, was to counter the official version about the
motive behind the 2006 blast that said the blasts were result of the
Muslim sectarian differences.
Kul Jamaati Tanzeem is working since
2006, and with their demands its leaders have not only organized
several dharnas in Malegaon and Mumbai but have also met top
government leaderships including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA
Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and former and present state chief
ministers pleading them to look into the matter.
Elaborating the details of Thursday’s
protest Maulana Azhari said, “We are working on various ways
including a dharna at Mushawerat chowk - one of the blast
sites, rasta-roko at Mumbai-Agra road, hoisting black
flags all over the town and holding prayer meetings for the victims
as well as for those who are in jail since 2006. The demonstration
can be all or some of these options. But they will be totally
The decision to stage demonstrations
on the blast anniversary was taken ten days back. The Mumbai
special court order dismissing Maharashtra Control of Organised
Crime Act (MCOCA) charges against the accused detained in connection
with the 2008 Malegaon blast case stunned the people in the town consequently intensifying the demonstration
“We had taken the decision for
demonstrations last week only and one of our demands from the
government was to reconsider its decision to reinstate KP
Raghuvanshi as state ATS chief. The court order has only vindicated
our stand about Raghuvanshi and now more and more people think the demonstration is
perhaps the only way to make the government realise its apathies”, said Maulana Azhari.
Leaders cutting across the party lines
are also supporting the Kul Jamaati Tanzeem’s call for protests
on Thursday. In their statements former minister and veteran
socialist leader Nehal Ahmad and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
president Yusuf Haji have asserted to support the protest that Kul
Jamaati Tanzeem plans on the blast anniversary.