CBI receives Malegaon re-investigation nod

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MUMBAI - In a significant development, a special court here Thursday granted permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to re-investigate the Sep 8, 2006 Malegaon serial blasts.

The permission, by Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) special court Judge Y.D. Shinde, comes in the wake of the reported confession of Hindutva activist Swami Aseemanand of his role in the blasts.

Aseemanand, a member of the right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat, is also accused of the Mecca Masjid and Samjhauta Express blasts of 2007.

At least 35 persons were killed and over a 100 injured when three blasts ripped through the minority-dominated areas of Malegaon, including the Bada Kabrastan area on Shab-E-Baraat day.

The state Anti-Terrorist Squad nabbed nine Muslim youth in connection with the case. The CBI took over the case following a request by the Maharashtra government.

A CBI official said Thursday that the special court had directed the agency to further investigate the case under Section 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

To a query whether the CBI would also interrogate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, former Military Intelligence official Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit and others named in the case, the official said the agency would do whatever is required in the process of collecting evidence during the fresh investigations.

Two days ago, several top Muslim leaders and intellectuals had called on Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil, demanding the release of the arrested Muslim youth.

The state government responded by writing to the centre urging the CBI to look afresh into the case as fresh leads were emerging post Swami Aseemanand’s arrest.

Filed under: Terrorism

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