‘NIA not to oppose bail of men arrested for Malegaon’
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
New Delhi, Oct 31: In a decision that could come as an embarrassment to Maharashtra's Anti Terror Squad, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today announced that NIA will not oppose the bail pleas of the nine accused arrested by the police in the 2006 Malegaon bomb blast case.
"As far as the NIA is concerned, which is in-charge of investigating the case, they are not opposing the bail. Whether the bail will be granted or not, it is not for me to say. It is for the court to say," Chidambaram told reporters after presenting his ministry's monthly report card. All the nine are languishing in Arthur Road prison since their arrest in 2006.
Asked whether the move not to oppose the bail meant that the nine people arrested by the ATS were innocent, Chidambaram said "no, until any other person who is involved is actually found and chargesheeted, and until the old chargesheet is revised, we can't come to any conclusion one way or the other."
"But since there is a confession and investigation is in progress in some areas, in some other directions, the NIA has concluded that it is no longer necessary to keep them in judicial custody and, therefore, the NIA will not oppose the bail. But the decision is not of NIA, the decision will be court's decision," the Home Minister said.
The probe by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) has indicated that the ATS of Maharashtra police and the CBI allegedly acted in undue haste in filing chargesheet against the accused, official sources said.
While NIA is looking into a possible Hindu terror link following a confession by Swami Aseemanand before a magistrate during the CBI custody, it was not immediately clear whether the agency would investigate the role of police officers who are alleged to have framed the nine Muslim youth arrested for allegedly orchestrating the blast.
NIA was asked to probe the case after it took a new twist following confession of Assemanand, a member of right wing group Abhinav Bharat, before a magistrate in which he claimed that the 2006 blast in the powerloom town of Malegaon was carried out by Hindu extremists.
ATS, which was initially investigating the blast that killed 36 persons, had arrested nine Muslim youth for carrying out the blasts.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Oct 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Oct 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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