Malegaon: CBI probe hints of undue haste by ATS Mumbai

Posted By: Pti
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Mumbai, Mar 6: Amid demands for a fresh probe into 2006 Malegaon blasts, the CBI has hinted that Mumbai Police's elite Anti-Terror Squad had in its rush to solve the case named two of the accused without realising that one of them was languishing in jail while another was 700 kms away from the town at the time of the explosions.

The ATS charge sheet claims that one of the main accused Mohammed Zahid was present in the powerloom town on Sep eight, 2006 when the three powerful bombs went off killing over 35 people.

The new team of the CBI, which is trying to open the knots in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, has, however, got eye-witnesses to testify that Zahid was leading the Friday prayers in a village 700 kms from Malegaon on the day of the explosions.

Zahid was alleged to be involved in the activities of banned SIMI. However, he was not present at the scene of crime, say senior CBI officials who are investigating the case again.

The CBI officials claimed that the then ATS officials simply chose to ignore the eye-witness accounts and attempted to stick to the theory which was apparently framed by some officials who wanted to close the case quickly, the sources said.

Union Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed had also said that there should be a re-investigations into the 2006 Malegoan case and that people, if found innocent, should be released.

These comments came after Minorities Commission Chairman Wajahat Habibullah said that he would be taking up the matter about Malegaon 2006 probe with the government as he had got several representations for the same.

The second loophole in the case was the arrest of Shabbir Masiullah alias Shhabir Batterywala. The ATS had accused that in May 2003, one of the arrested accused Mohammad Ali Shaikh had sent Shabbir Batterywala to Pakistan for training in weapon handling and assembling of bombs laden with RDX.

Ali, along with Junaid and two more persons, had transported 15 kg of RDX to Malegaon, which was stored in Shabbir''s godown.

However, it has been found that Shabbir had been in police custody in connection with the July 11, 2006 train blasts and as the initial probe of CBI suggests, he had no role to play in the conspiracy to conduct the blast at Malegaon, the sources said.


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