The NIA, which is re-investigating the 2006 Malegaon blasts, has found that one of the initial “suspects”, Abrar Ahmed, was “lured” by the Maharashtra ATS with the offer of “immovable property in his name anywhere in India other than Jammu & Kashmir” to take names in the case. The Anti-Terrorism Squad had chargesheeted nine Muslims for the blasts at two mosques that left 31 dead and more than 100 injured. Disclosures by Swami Aseemanand later revealed the attack to be the handiwork of right-wing Hindu groups.
Ahmed, who was made approver by the ATS but retracted his statement later, has told the NIA that he was “detained by the police for three days and pressured to identify photographs of a few persons shown to him”. Another “suspect” named by the ATS in the case, Mohammad Ali, was found to have been present at the ATS office in Kurla in Mumbai on the day of the Malegaon blasts. Ali had been under probe by the ATS in connection with the July 2006 Mumbai train serial blasts.
The NIA has conveyed to the union home ministry that the alleged call intercepted between Ahmed and “suspect” Zahid Abdul Majid, also arrested by the ATS, was also made at the behest of the police. Majid had been described by the ATS as one of those who planted the bombs at the mosques. In the call, ‘Majid’ is heard using “abusive language”. “The evidence against Majid is ‘inconclusive’... It has also been learnt that Majid was organising a cultural programme at a madrasa in Yevatmal on the day of the incident,” an official in the ministry revealed.