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Malegaon blast chargesheet ready, 9 Muslims to get relief

Malegaon blast chargesheet ready, 9 Muslims to get relief

New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is giving a final shape to its chargesheet against at least seven Hindu extremists, which include conspirators and executors of the blast, Hindustan Times reported.

"Work on chargesheet has started. It will soon be ready. After that investigators will seek a mandatory sanction from a review committee under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to file a chargesheet. Though we have time till May 20 to file the chargesheet, we may file before the deadline," said a senior NIA official.

Four blasts outside a mosque in Maharashtra's textile town of Malegaon on September 8, 2006, had killed 38 persons. Maharashtra ATS probed the case and had filed a chargesheet against nine Muslims - Salman Farsi, Shabir Ahmed, Noorulhuda, Rais Ahmed, Mohammed Ali, Asif Khan, Javed Sheikh, Faroogue Ansari and Abrar Ahmed. Later, the case was handed over to the CBI but the agency also concurred with the ATS probe and filed the chargesheet against same nine accused.

But Swami Aseemanand's confession to a magistrate in 2010 was the first indication that the Malegaon blasts were the handiwork of Hindu extremists. The case was handed over to the NIA for further probe. In the meantime, the NIA allowed the release of nine accused on bail.

The NIA investigation has established that four Hindu extremists - Rajendra Pehelwan alias Samandar, Dhan Singh, Manohar and Amit Chauhan had planted bombs in Malegaon. Investigators have managed to establish the role of at least three planners - Sunil Joshi, Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalasangra. One of the lead conspirators Sunil Joshi was killed by his own men in December 2007.

Along with the chargesheet against these Hindu extremists, the agency will move for a formal discharge of the earlier held Muslim accused.

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