NEW DELHI – As the Malegaon terror attack grabs headlines once again, with the accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur set to contest elections on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Bhopal, Karwan-e-Mohabbat has released a short documentary that details the ordeal faced by three of the nine acquitted Muslim men, who were falsely accused of committing the bomb blasts.
After a short introduction summarising the terror attacks and subsequent arrests, the video titled “Who is responsible for the Malegaon blasts?” dives into the experiences of “terror innocents” — the three Muslim men who were falsely accused of being involved with the blasts and were acquitted after spending years in prison.
Raees Ahmed Rajab Ali used to work at a battery factory when the blast was being investigated. He said that the police used exaggerations to connect the tools and chemicals used at the factory to the bombs: “They fabricated the whole story of our factory being connected to the blasts and gave it to the media.”
A power loom worker Noorul Huda said, “A senior officer like KP Rajvanshi (ATS chief)… told all the officers and constables that today is his Eid, we will celebrate it together. And they beat me for two hours, till I lost consciousness.”
Ali said, “Even animals are not subjected to such torture. The way they tied up my hands and feet, beat me for half an hour while they were drunk… until I lost consciousness,” adding, “They ridiculed me, calling me circumcised race (lundiya log), ‘why do you live here, you should go to Pakistan’.”
He said that there was no talk of bomb blasts or terrorism — the police only acted based on islamophobic and communal feelings.
Doctor Salman alleged that the ATS (Anti-Terror Squad) is anti-national; “Attacking the innocent is to attack the nation,” he said.
They were then taken to Bangalore where Ali said, “A fake doctor, whose documents were fake, performed narco tests on us. The doctor had a setting with the ATS,” adding that, “The trick was that the doctor tried to make us say ‘We did not perform this bomb blast’ so that they could remove the ‘not’ and use this confession against us.”
Salman said, “The narco test… was absolutely illegal. Without court permission, they moved. Even the court was unaware that they took us to Bangalore…”
Ali said the whole confession was written down in Marathi, so he couldn’t understand it. “The DIG officer called me into his office and claimed the documents were his papers of innocence… An IPS officer defrauded me! The setting was so strong, that even the magistrate didn’t read the confession aloud…” said Ali.
The course of the investigation changed when Swami Aseemanand confessed to the terror blasts in 2010, and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur among others was arrested.
Ali said, “Even today, the government has not let us be. Swami Aseemanand and the other accused have been discharged, no one appeals against them. However, we being innocent, the court discharged us… but the government keeps appealing against our acquittal.