The confession of Swami Aseemanand that he and other members of Hindutva organisations were behind the 2006 Malegaon blasts that killed 37 people, may have brought some relief to families of those arrested in the case.
Several questions were raised on the charge sheet of the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS). One of the accused, Shabbir Masiullah, was in police custody for at least 40 days before the blasts, his family has claimed. One of the alleged masterminds, Dr Faroug Abid, was seeing patients at his clinic, his family said, when he was arrested. Aseemanand, who worked with an affiliate of the Rashtriya swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, has claimed the involvement right wing elements in the blasts.
THE EXPLOSIVES USED
ATS chargesheet: In the third week of July (days after the serial train bombings when security was at its peak) Shabbir Masiullah ferried explosives from Mumbai to Malegaon.
Swami Aseemanand:In April 2006, Sunil Joshi had said he would arrange for SIM cards and some pistols and a few other materials from Jharkhand. I had also advised him to meet Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur and Rajeshwar Singh in Agra. I gave Rs 25,000 for this.
Making the Bombs
ATS: Two Pakistanis, one of them identified as Muzammil, arrived in Malegaon and helped prepare the bombs.
Aseemanand Sunil Joshi had said his men had carried out the blasts.
PLANTING THE BOMBS
ATS: The charge sheet names Mohammed Zahid Abdul Majid Ansari, a resident of Phul Sawangi village in Pusad Taluka of Yavatmal district as a planter. More than 100 villagers, however, have signed a letter saying he was leading the namaaz at his native village. Phul Sawangi is more than 500km from Malegaon.
Aseemanand: I had met Sandeep (Dange) and one more person whose name, I later found out, was Ramji (Kalsangra) at Vyara bus stop in Gujarat. I gave them a lift in my car to Rajpipla junction on Baroda-Rajpipla road. They seemed in a hurry and did not talk properly. When I had asked them where were they coming from, they said Maharashtra. I realised much later that I had met the duo the day after the Malegaon blast.
ATS: : A meeting was held on May 8, 2006, during the daawat (feast) after accused Noor-ul-Huda’s wedding ceremony.
Aseemanand: In meetings held between March and June 2006 at various places, [Sadhvi] Pragya Singh, Manoj alias Sunil Joshi, Bharatbhai from Valsad and some other men discussed the terrorist attacks on temples. We were all disturbed following bomb blasts at temples across the country.
ATS: To create a rift between Hindus and Muslims. The attackers wanted the faith of the Muslim community in the democratic government to be eroded and wanted to raise funds for terror activities.
Swami Aseemanand: In June 2006, in a meeting held at Valsad
residence of Bharat bhai, Sunil Joshi, Pragya Singh, Sandeep Dange, Ramji Kalsangra and two more men
participated. It was here that a decision was taken to retaliate against the bomb blasts at various Hindu temples.