More than 3,000 people gathered at Azad Maidan on Thursday to protest against the arrest of nine young men in the 2006 Malegaon blasts that killed 37 people.
The protestors raised slogans against the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the state home minister and demanded that the men be released and compensated.
Organised by the Aman Committee of Mumbai, the protest attracted people from more than 50 social and religious organisations.
The protestors also demanded a fresh probe into the Malegaon blasts and other terror strikes on the grounds that the ATS and other government agencies were biased against Muslims.
They also demanded action against the ATS. The protestors said given Swami Aseemanand’s confession that the Malegaon blasts were his handiwork, the men arrested in the case should be released.
“Aseemanand’s admission of guilt is an indication of right wing Hindu terror, which the government is refusing to acknowledge. Despite his confession, nine innocent men have not been released. The government should release them with an apology and compensate them,” said Dawood Khan, general secretary of the Aman Committee.
Farid Khan, secretary of the Qaumi Majlis-e-Shoora, said: “Then ATS chief [KP] Raghuvanshi and lieutenant colonel [Shrikant] Purohit [arrested in the 2008 Malegaon blast] are examples of the bias within the agencies meant to protect us.”