Malegaon blast accused again apply for bail


Mumbai: Nine Muslim youths accused in the 2006 bomb blasts in Malegaon town of Maharashtra’s Nashik district moved a fresh plea for bail at a Mumbai special court here Saturday, their lawyer said.

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“The bail application was filed as the current investigation agency, National Investigation Agency (NIA), has not been able to provide incriminating evidence against the accused after interrogation and brain mapping and polygraph tests,” said advocate Jalil Ahmed, representing the accused.

The accused persons had consented for the brain mapping tests in August as the NIA filed an application in the court, stating that it is important to conduct scientific tests on the accused as part of the probe.

“The tests concluded last week have not been able to give any incriminating evidence,” Ahmed said.

“The bail applications of eight accused have been registered today (Saturday) before the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court. The application of the ninth accused – Abrar Ahmed – will be registered in a couple of days,” Ahmed added.

Abrar Ahmed had turned approver in the blast case when the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) was investigating it. He had, however, later retracted, stating that he was forced by the ATS to do so.

The bail application would be heard on Oct 31.

The lawyer also said that the accused have moved the court for bail as neither of the investigation agencies has been able to prove them guilty.

“One of the grounds of seeking bail is that the accused are being harassed by one investigating after the other. In 2006, the case was handed over the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), then to the ATS and now to the NIA,” he said.

The Maharashtra ATS, which had probed the case before the NIA, had arrested the nine – Shabir Ahmed, Salman Farsi, Rais Ahmed, Noorulhuda Doha, Asif Khan, Mohammed Ali, Farooque Ansari, Javed Sheikh and Abrar Ahmed – for their alleged involvement in the multiple blasts in the minority-dominated town.

The explosions near a mosque on Sep 8, 2006, had killed 37 people and injured over 100. The accused had also applied for a bail in March, which was rejected by the court.