Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Upset by the police probe, minorities demand transfer of the case to the central agency
Even as the Maharashtra police top brass claimed on Monday that they “cracked” the September 8 Malegaon blasts, the minorities in the state are not convinced. They are unified in their demand that the case be handed to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). A delegation has gone to New Delhi recently to voice their demands.
Their contention: the police and the Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) have messed things up and mishandled the blasts probe which resulted in random harassment of innocent Muslims.
“In the wake of disenchantment regarding the blasts investigations carried out by ATS and police, there is no harm in awarding the case to the CBI,” vice-chairman, State Minorities Commission, Abraham Mathias told DNA. Officials of the minorities’ commission feel that the Malegaon blasts have “international dimensions” and the probe be left to an expert agency like the CBI.
Senior police officers, in fact, refused to comment. The confusing character of the police investigation has strengthened the minorities’ demand for the case being probed by a “third agency”.
Director General of Police PS Pasricha claimed the police had “all evidence” against the blasts perpetrators. But the police are yet to arrest eight more people directly linked to the blasts. The investigators have no clue about the second Pakistani national, who sneaked into Malegaon in the second week of July along with Muzzamil.
The police are yet to establish if the two were linked to any Pakistan-based terrorist outfits. Also, the police are yet to ascertain the exact name of Muzzamil and his antecedents. He, too, is believed to be a Pakistani national.
Pasricha, however, said, “Two of the 11/7 accused (Mohammad Ali and Asif Khan alias Junnaid) were involved in the Malegaon blasts as well. The duo ferried RDX to Sabbir Masiullah alias Sabbir Batterywala in Malegaon. It was in Battterywala’s factory compound that the explosives used in the blasts were assembled.”
But the top cop did not mention if the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which is allegedly orchestrated the Malegaon blasts, was assisted by bigger terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Tayiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). “We have proof that Sabbir was sent to Pakistani for subversive training in 2003,” Pasricha added. Cops said around 15 kg of RDX was smuggled into Malegaon ahead of the blasts out of which only close to 1.5 kg was used.