CBI probe hints of undue haste by ATS in Malegaon blast case

The CBI hinted that Mumbai Anti-Terror Squad was in a rush to solve the Malegaon blast case.

Last Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 19:54 PM IST

Mumbai: 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
September 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.

PTI