Malegaon blasts: Charges dropped against eight Muslim men

Aftermath A cycle stand in Malegaon after the blasts
A cycle stand in Malegaon after the blasts Photo:

Charges against eight Muslim men, accused of carrying out bomb blasts killing 35 persons in Malegaon in 2006, have been dropped on 25 April.

The accused had spent five years in jail before being granted bail, after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case. The accused were tortured into making confessions by the police, they alleged.

Maharashtra’s anti-terror squad had initially probed the blasts and took nine Muslim men into custody. The ATS said the accused reportedly belonged to the banned SIMI and had carried out the explosions with the help of Lashkar-e-Toiba. One of thenm died even before the charges could against him could be dropped.

When the National Investigation Agency took over in 2011, it booked another set of people related with a right-wing group called Abhinav Bharat. The NIA said it didn’t oppose bail for the Muslim men accused in the case as no evidence was found.

The turn in the case came after Swami Aseemanand allegedly told the agency the same group was involved in both Malegaon attacks, two years apart.

During arguments recently however, the NIA opposed the accused persons discharge petitions.