Malegaon 2006 blast accused on hunger strike, seeks fast trial

Mumbai: Farogh Iqbal Magdumi, one of the nine accused in the 2006 Malegaon blast case, lodged in the Arthur Road jail here, has been on a hunger strike for the last two weeks demanding that the trial be started.

"Magdumi says he is innocent and he should be let off, or the trial be started, so that he can defend himself. He says till then he would not end his hunger strike," said a senior police officer.

"He is under continuous observation and was administered saline. His health condition is good. We have informed the special MCOCA court. He has also demanded that a government representative should meet him and assure him that his appeals would be looked into," the IPS official added.

Magdumi's lawyer, advocate Jaleel Ahmed confirmed that his client had been on hunger strike.

"He is also demanding that the case should be fast-tracked. When he was brought to MCOCA court last week, he was not even in the position to walk," advocate Ahmed said.

Thirty-five people were killed in the blast in the powerloom city of Malegaon in Nashik district in September 2006.

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad filed a chargesheet in the case in December 2006.

But the case was subsequently handed over to the CBI which also submitted a chargesheet last February.

"The case has now been handed over to National Investigation Agency (NIA) in April this year. We are not sure when the trial will begin as the NIA has no designated court here yet," advocate Ahmed added.