ATS opposes PIL seeking retrial in 7/11 train blasts case

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad on Wednesday opposed a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the ongoing 7/11 serial train bomb blasts case.

Mumbai: Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) today opposed a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the ongoing 7/11 serial train bomb blasts case and urging a fresh trial by National Investigating Agency (NIA).

ATS Counsel Raja Thackeray opposed the PIL saying that already 192 witnesses had been examined in this case and the trial had reached a fag end. Staying the trial at this stage would not serve any purpose, he argued.

The bench headed by Justice PV Hardas then adjourned the PIL, filed by journalist Ashish Khaitan, for hearing on October 07.

The PIL alleged that in the July 11 Mumbai local train blasts of 2006, "The ATS had deliberately created bogus evidence, extracted false confessions from accused by the most inhuman torture, planted explosives in the houses of the accused and implicated innocent Muslim youth."

Earlier, Khaitan had written to the Chief Justice of the High Court seeking an independent inquiry into this case as well as in other blast cases.

It has sought a direction to NIA to re-investigate the train blasts pending which the 13 arrested accused should be released on bail and trial against them should be stayed.

"Different wings of the Maharashtra police have presented different versions at different times about the 7/11 train bombings," the PIL stated.

It said that even in the 2006 Malegaon blasts, the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested several Muslims which now National Investigation Agency (NIA), claims is the handiwork of Hindutva extremists.

The July 11, 2006 Mumbai train bombings were a series of seven blasts that took place over a period of 11 minutes on the Suburban Railway network. The bombs were set off in pressure cookers on trains plying on the Western route in which 209 people were killed and over 700 were injured.