//Malegaon 2006 blast witness turns hostile

Malegaon 2006 blast witness turns hostile

Malegaon: Terming that the police officials with the help of his in-laws had hatched a conspiracy against him, the lone approver in the 2006 Malegaon serial blast case turned hostile.
Abrar Ahmad arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case who had earlier agreed to be an approver against eight others detained in the same case turned hostile on April 18, 2009. In an affidavit, the copy of which is with ummid.com, he says none of those detained in the case have anything to do with the blast that rocked the town in 2006.

Malegaon the Muslim dominated textile town in Maharashtra, few hundred kilometers from the State Capital Mumbai, was rocked by a series of blasts in the span of few minutes on September 8, 2006. The first two blasts occurred outside the Hamidiya Masjid in Qabristan immediately after the Friday prayers and the next at Mushawerat Chowk located few hundred meters away. More than thirty people were killed and as many as three hundred were injured, most of them being the children.

Naming few of the police and Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials, Abrar in his affidavit, signed on April 18 and distributed to the media today afternoon in a press conference called by the Kul Jamaati Tanzim – an umbrella organization established in 2006 to fight for the cause of those detained in 2006 blast case, alleged that the police hatched a conspiracy with the help of his brother-in-law Farooque Wardha, who resides in Bhiwandi and allegedly works as a police informer, to nab the Muslim youths in connection with the blast.

Initially they lured him with a huge sum of money and actually gave his in-laws lakhs of rupees and in a lust for the cash he had agreed to become an approver, Abrar, now holed up in Byculla Jail, says in his affidavit. Soon, he further says in his affidavit, he realized that his in-laws, hands-in-glove with the police and ATS officials, are making a scapegoat out of him and hence he decided to withdraw all his earlier statements.

Abrar also alleges in his affidavit that the police personnel after the 2006 blast in Malegaon had taken him to Indore where he had been introduced to few Sadhus with a Sadhavi. When he saw Sadhavi Pragya Singh Thkaur, one of the accused in 2008 Malegaon blast case who is also lodged in Byculla Jail, Abrar says, he immediately recognized the meeting he had with her in Indore after the 2006 blast. Abrar also alleges in his affidavit that the police officials had also introduced him with a Military Officer in Deolali-Nashik whom he recognized from his photos published in newspapers after he was arrested in 2008 Malegaon blast case.

Interestingly while Abrar Ahmad had named few police officers who were continuously in his touch after the blast rocked Malegaon on September 8, 2006, the police in reply to a habitués-corpus petition filed by his elder brother Advocate Jaleel Ahmed had denied knowing him.

Advocate SS Shaikh, who was present in the press conference in Malegaon today afternoon, termed it as a major blow to the prosecution. “The chargesheet filed by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) lacked the evidence and if it had any it was Abrar Ahmad, who after agreeing to become approver has now turned hostile”, Advocate Shaikh said. Pointing out how the charges against the accused are manipulated in the chargesheet, he said, “Zahid Ab Majid, one of the accused, in jail since last more than two years, has been termed as planter in the chargesheet. But at the time of blast he was in Phoolsawangi, more than 500 kms from Malegaon.”

Meanwhile Dr. Salman Farsi, another accused in the same case and admitted in J. J. Hospital in Mumbai, continues with the hunger strike. Dr. Salman is on indefinite hunger strike since March 18, 2009 demanding for the fast-track court and speedy completion of the CBI investigations.

Aleem Faizee, ummid.com, 20 April 2009