Shortly after their release, organisation defending the Malegaon accused praises late Hemant Karkare for cracking down on saffron terror groups
Twelve days after the MCOCA court granted bail to the nine accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, seven relieved men walked out of Arthur Road prison waving victory signs.
Shortly after their release, the accused were presented to the media at a press conference organised by the Jamiat-Ulema-e-Maharashtra.
At the media briefing, Gulzar Azmi, the secretary of the legal cell of the Jamiat, showered praises on former ATS chief Hemant Karkare. "In this moment of triumph, we must not forget the valiant contribution of Hemant Karkare in cracking down on saffron terror groups," said Azmi.
"Two of the arrested accused are doctors, and one is a maulana. Why will people of such calibre indulge in terrorist activities? We have been fighting for innocent Muslims and will continue to do so," Azmi added, thanking Hemant Karkare for unearthing the Hindu terrorist links.
The nine accused had filed fresh bail applications after Swami Aseemanand's reported confession late last year, in which he claimed that the 2006 Malegaon blasts were the handiwork of Hindu right wing groups. He also claimed credit for the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts, and blasts in Ajmer and Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad.
The accused were granted bail after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted before the MCOCA judge Yatin D Shinde that it had decided not to oppose the bail pleas of the accused. A special MCOCA court, on November 5, granted bail to all nine men accused in the case, in which 37 persons were killed and over 100 injured.
Having spent five years in judicial custody, Shabbir Masiullah, Dr Salman Farsi, Noorul Huda, Dr Farogh Magdumi, Raees Ahmed, Mohammed Zahid and Abrar Ahmed were united with their families for the first time. Of the nine accused, Mohammed Ali and Asif Khan have not been released on bail, as they are under trial in the 7/11 serial blasts case.
"The late Shahid Azmi was the advocate for all the accused in this case. His younger brother Khalid Azmi has now joined the legal team that includes advocates Shareef Shaikh, Abdul Khan, Ansar Tamboli," added Azmi. Azmi further thanked Arif Naseem Khan the state minister for his support to the organisation and said that the fight for innocent people could continue in the future as well.
Kin delighted "I am very happy and my fight for justice for my brother has borne fruit today. We have finally won," said Jameel, brother of Shabbir Masiullah.
He further added that, "Shabbir is the brother-in law of Raees. In such cases where two members from a household are arrested, the entire family gets disturbed. Their families are shattered, as the breadwinners are languishing behind bars."
Shabbir's son, Mujahid who lives in Malegaon, said, "My father went with the police five years ago, and is not earning today. I had met him once in jail. There was no one to take care of me and I was all alone as my mother used to visit Mumbai regularly to meet papa."
Malegaon blast On September 6, 2006, four bombs exploded at a mosque in Malegaon killing 37 and injuring over a 100 people. The blast took place in a Muslim cemetery, soon after the Friday namaaz. The bombs were planted in bicycles parked at the entrance of the cemetary.