Malegaon Blast – Eight Muslims Acquitted of Terror Charges, Released

Mumbai: The Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Court, last fortnight discharged all the eight Muslim accused who were charge sheeted in the 2006 Malegaon serial blast case. “The accused were discharged by V V Patil, Designated Judge of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court. The judge pronounced the verdict on the discharge application filed by the Muslim men accused of the September 2006 Malegaon blasts”, Advocate Shahid Nadeem Ansari said, while talking to ummid.com. The accused against whom the charges have been dropped have spent five years in jail. Charges against the eight Muslim men were dropped by the special court in Mumbai due to lack of evidence against them. The judge said that he was accepting the discharge application filed by the eight accused as there was no evidence to prove their guilt. The nine Muslims – 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. Shabbir Ahmed, one of the accused in the case died in an accident few months ago. In the last hearing on April 12, NIA counsel Prakash Shetty had told the court during arguments on the application that the central agency opposed the plea to discharge the accused at this stage. This was a change from the earlier stand of the NIA, which in a reply filed to this application in 2014, had questioned the ATS case against the nine accused. “For 80 days, I was subjected to third-degree torture and then was forced to sign a false confession,” Noorul Huda, one of the men discharged, told NDTV. Now 34 years old, Huda, said it was a huge relief to be exonerated by court, describing bleak years spent in prison as a “terrible ordeal.”

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