Three months after a chain of explosions shattered the peace of the textile town of Malegaon, killing 31 persons and injuring another 312, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Thursday filed a voluminous chargesheet against nine suspected activists of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
Meanwhile, the state government has transferred the probe to the CBI following requests from the minority community.
Deputy Chief Minister RR Patil said that following the explosions, there was a huge hue and cry by members of the community over the manner in which the investigations were being conducted and several minority organisations and political parties, including the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress, urged the state to hand over the probe to the CBI.
The accused have been charged under the IPC, Explosives Substances Act, Explosives Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
The chargesheet, filed by prosecutor Raja Thakre, says that the nine accused participated in a conspiracy along with four others, one of whom is a Pakistani national, between May and September. The object of this was to “overawe” the government by stirring up communal riots and causing communal disharmony, according to the chargesheet.
The chargesheeted accused include Noorul Huda Samsudoha, 23, Shabbir Ahmed Masiullah, 36, Raees Ahmed Rajab, 30, Dr Salman Farsi, 35, Dr Fargoh Iqbal Ahmed Magdumi, 33, Mohammed Ali Alam Shaikh, 37, Asif Khan Bashir, 30, Mohammed Zahid, Abdul Majid Ansari, 26, and Abrar Ahmed Gulam Ahmed, 33.
The four other absconding accused are Riyaz Ahmed Shafi Ahmed, Ishtiyaq Ahmed Mohammed Ishaq, Munnawar Ahmed Mohammed Amin and Muzzamil, the Pakistani national.
The chargesheet contains nine volumes of material collected by the ATS from their investigation as well as the statements of the accused regarding their role in the conspiracy.