Malegaon Bomb Blasts: Charges Against Eight Muslim Men Dropped

25/04/2016 5:36 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
STRDEL via Getty Images
Malegaon, INDIA: Piles of discarded shoes and fallen bicycles litter a street outside a mosque in Malegaon,some 260kms north of Mumbai, 08 September 2006, after a series of bomb blasts. At least 37 people were killed and 50 others injured Friday in separate blasts in the western Indian town, officials said.The blasts occurred at Malegaon's Nurani mosque where devotees were offering Friday prayers. AFP PHOTO/Courtesy of SAKAL (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

A special court in Mumbai on Monday dropped charges against eight Muslim men accused of the 2006 Malegaon bomb blasts that killed at least 30 people and injured more than 100.

The accused- Salman Farsi, Noorulhuda Doha, Rais Ahmed, Mohammed Ali, Asif Khan, Javed Sheikh, Faroogue Ansari and Abrar Ahmed, were being investigated for four bomb explosions near Hamida Masjid in the Bade Kabarastan area of Malegaon on on September 8, 2006.

After the National Investigation Agency or NIA took over the case in 2011, these men were granted bail. By then they had already spent five years in jail.

They were allegedly tortured to confess of carrying out bomb blasts by the police, news reports said.

"For 80 days I was subjected to third-degree torture and then was forced to sign a false confession," 34-year-old Noor Ul Huda, one of the men discharged today told NDTV.

Maharashtra’s anti-terror squad or ATS, had initially arrested nine men allegedly belonging to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) on charges of carrying out the blasts.

Even CBI that took over the case from ATS confirmed the role of the accused. However, in 2011, after NIA took over the case, the role of right-wing group Abhinav Bharat was established and another set of people were booked for the blasts.

According to NIA investigations, Sunil Joshi who was a key conspirator in the 2008 Malegaon blast and was found murdered later, was also the conspirator of the 2006 blasts.

The agency filed a charge sheet in the case against Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary.

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