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Statement of All India Secular Forum welcoming granting of Bail to the 9 Accused of Malegaon in Bomb blast case

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All India Secular Forum welcomes the granting of bail to the 9 accused in the 2006 Malegaon Bomb blast case. All right thinking persons and human rights supporters were shocked when innocent Muslim boys were arrested for the 2006 bomb blast near a cemetery and mosque on

Shab-e-Barat when Muslims pay respect to their departed loved ones. The Patron of AISF, Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer had met the then SP and tried to reason with him that there was no evidence to arrest the boys and that they could not be involved in targeting their own community members on such a solemn occassion. Dr. Engineer had also talked to the then DGP Mr. Pasricha but to no avail.These innocent Muslim boys became victims of police bias that refused to believe that non-Muslims could be involved in terrorist activities and did not look at hard evidence nor did they investigate the case properly. That led to the involved criminals in terrorist acts free to undertake more such terrorist acts with impunity in Malegaon again

in 2008, in Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Dargah and Samjhouta Express. This stopped only after the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare investigated the 2008 Bomb blast in Malegaon professionally and without any communal prejudice and arrested the followers of Hindutva ideology Sadhvi Pragnya Singh and her accomplices. Subsequently, Swami Aseemanand was arrested and he confessed to his role in the terror act and the role of his other accomplices who were followers of indutva ideology.

Meanwhile these 9 accused in Malegaon had to suffer all the third degree that police might have used on them to extract forced confessions. The young boys lost 5 valuable years of their lives and their families suffered untold hardships. Inspite of the confession by Swami Aseemanand, the CBI, which was later handed over the investigations refused to take a call on these accused and continued to oppose their bail in court without any credible evidence to

convict these boys. Even the NIA took a while before they decided that there wasn’t credible evidence against the accused. The accused are from poor background and will find it difficult to muster the surety of Rs. 50,000/- victimizing innocent creates more bitterness among those who have to undergo the harassment.

All India Secular Forum demands that the state should compensate these accused for their suffering, unjustified incarceration and loss of freedom and the indignity that they may still have to face. The battle is not yet over and we call upon one and all to continue to support the accused through the trial that still will go on.

Irfan Engineer

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Author: Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution

We work for peace and conflict resolution through peace courses, education and awareness. Our Aims are: •To study about the diversity in the society and making everyone aware of it. •To bring about policy change whereby promoting rights of the marginalized groups mentioned above. •To create democratic spaces in educational institutions, communities and public life on the whole through debates and reflection. •To encourage the discourse on peace education and human rights.

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