Hyderabad: Accusing the ruling dispensation of going soft on non-Muslim accused, AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi on Wednesday said that this u-turn by the NIA on the 2006 Malegaon bombings is a 'travesty of justice' and called on the Government of India to immediately discharge the nine-Muslims who were arrested on terror charges.
"The u-turn by NIA is a joke, it is a travesty of justice and they are playing politics on the diktat of their political masters...In terrorist cases, if there is a non-Muslim (accused), the present political dispensation is going soft on them. I am charging because this is what is happening. Because the u-turn itself, it is completely wrong, it has never happened that wherein one offence you have two groups of accused. My demand is that the Government of India should immediately discharge the nine-Muslims," Owaisi told ANI here.
"The government will come and go, parties will come and go, but the government will be in continuous form. In the interest of justice, to ensure that miscarriage of justice doesn't take place and to ensure that the real perpetrators are convicted and sentenced these thing should not have happened," he added.
He further demanded that the Government of India should accept the discharge petition in the interest of justice and a trial should proceed.
Two years after it told a Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in Mumbai that it did not have any evidence to link nine Muslim men to the September 2006 Malegaon bombings, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) went back on its stand yesterday and opposed discharging the men of terror charges.
The nine men - Noorul Huda, Shabbir Ahmed, Raees Ahmed, Salman Farsi, Farogh Magdumi, Shaikh Mohammed Ali, Asif Khan, Mohammed Zahid and Abrar Ahmed - were arrested in 2006 for the Malegaon blasts that killed 37 and injured over 100. In November 2011, they were granted bail.
In 2014, in response to a discharge application filed by the nine accused, the NIA had cited reasons for not having found evidence backing the probes by the ATS and CBI.
The NIA, which took over investigation of the blasts from the CBI in 2011, had earlier remained non-committal on the issue, leaving it to the court to decide on the application. After taking over the investigation, the NIA filed a chargesheet naming four accused but none of the nine men chargesheeted by the ATS and CBI.