One of the more bizarre cases of terrorism, which reflects more the criminal nature of Indian police, is coming to a close. Seven of the nine Muslim youth accused in the September 8, 2006 Malegaon blast, were granted bail on November 16 by a Special Court in Mumbai. The blast killed 37 people and wounded hundreds of others. That most of the victims were Muslims did not bother the police or the anti-terrorism squad.
The Malegaon terrorist attack, not unlike several others in India, was masterminded by a self-proclaimed Hindu priest, Swami Aseemanand, and several Indian military officers. But the Hindu dominated police force almost instinctively rounded up Muslims; in this case members of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) were accused of terrorism.
Aseemanand’s confession to the crime was no less dramatic. By a quirk of fate, he found himself in the same prison cell as a Muslim youth, Abdul Kalam, one of the Malegaon accused. After being treated with great kindness by Abdul Kalam in prison, the self-proclaimed Hindu priest could no longer contain his own guilt and confessed.
His confession was no less dramatic. The magistrate insisted on taking his testimony in private chamber to make sure Aseemanand was not pressured into confessing.
Two of the nine accused, Asif Khan and Mohammed Ali, are still in jail because they are accused in the equally spurious case of serial train bomb blasts in Mumbai in 2006.