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Four years after they were arrested for alleged involvement in the 2006 Malegaon blasts that killed 37 people, seven out of the nine accused in the case walked out of jail Wednesday after posting bail bonds of Rs.50,000 each, a social organisation’s official said.

They were granted bail Nov 5 by Special Judge Y.D. Shinde of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) did not oppose their bail applications.

The court granted them bail against bonds of Rs.50,000 each.

The other two accused – Asif Junaid Khan and Mohammed Ali Alam Shaikh – will continue to remain in jail as they were also accused in the July 11, 2006 Mumbai serial train blasts, said Gulzar A. Azmi, legal cell secretary of Jamiat-e-Ulema Maharashtra (AM), which paid the money for the bonds of the seven accused.

Six of those released on bail were lodged in Arthur Road Central Jail and one of them was in Byculla prison.

“This evening, the seven youths will come to our office where we shall felicitate them. Later tonight, they will leave for Malegaon and join their families from whom they have been separated since the past four years,” Azmi told.

Four bombs exploded Sep 8, 2006 in Malegaon town in Nashik district. The blasts claimed 37 lives and injured many people.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) probed the case before the NIA and arrested the nine accused, including Shabir Ahmed, Salman Farsi, Rais Ahmed, Noorulhuda Doha, Farooque Ansari, Javed Sheikh and Abrar Ahmed – for their alleged involvement in the blasts in the minority-dominated town. All the seven have now been released on bail.

The nine accused pleaded that they were in jail for the past four years and that there was no direct evidence of their involvement in the blasts.

They also contended that the charges against the accused were based only on the forcibly-extracted confessions.

Jalil Ahmed, the lawyer of the accused, said that Swami Aseemanand, who was arrested for his alleged role in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad, had stated that the accused were not actually responsible for the Malegaon blasts.

The NIA said that it decided not to oppose the bail applications of the nine accused and the decision was taken after due deliberations.

The nine accused sought bail at a Mumbai special court here last October.

The bomb blasts near a mosque Sep 8, 2006 in Malegaon town of Maharashtra’s Nashik district had killed 37 people and injured over 100.

The accused applied for bail in March as well but this was rejected by the court.


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