Two accused in 2006 Malegaon blasts seek discharge from case
Sheikh Mohammed Ali Sheikh and Asif Khan Bashir Khan, who were arrested in connection with the Malegaon 2006 blasts case, moved a discharge application before the designated Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Wednesday.
The application is scheduled for hearing on Saturday.
The two were arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad in 2006 and have sought discharge after the National Investigation Agency exonerated them, claiming that the blast was carried out by a right-wing terror group.
The accused have, in their application, stated that the action initiated against them by the ATS was out of ill-will, malice and ulterior motive and there is no prima-facie case against them.
“The accused have nothing to do with the offence and nothing incriminating was recovered at their instance or from their possession.
The accused were arrested in the case only on the basis of suspicion,” read the application.
On September 8, 2006, 37 persons were killed and more than 100 were injured in four bomb explosions that took place near Hamida Masjid in the Bade Kabarastan area of Malegaon. On September 13, 2006, a fake bomb was found on the staircase of Mohammedia Mosque.
The probe was handed over to the ATS, which arrested nine persons and claimed that the blasts were carried out by banned outfit SIMI. The case was later handed over to the CBI. Endorsing the claims made by the ATS, the central agency added four more names to the list of the accused.
After Swami Aseemanand confessed before a court that the 2006 Malegaon blasts were carried out by a Hindu group, the investigation was transferred to the NIA on April 6, 2011.
The agency has claimed that Sunil Joshi who was a key conspirator in the 2008 Malegaon blast and murdered later on, was also the conspirator of the 2006 blasts.
The agency had last month filed a charge sheet in the case against Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary.