They spent five years in jail, after being accused in Malegaon blast case. Now a Mumbai court has found the charges against them do not stand legal scrutiny.
Salman Farsi, Shabir Ahmed, Noorulhuda Doha, Rais Ahmed, Mohammed Ali, Asif Khan, Javed Sheikh, Faroogue Ansari and Abrar Ahmed for the blasts that that killed 37 and injured over 100. Shabbir died in an accident in March last year.
The case was first investigated by the Anti-Terror Squad which had arrested the men alleging they belonged to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and had carried out the blasts with the help of the Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Tayeba.
Then the case was handed over to the CBI. The investigating agency also agreed with the ATS probe. But the National Investigating Agency (NIA) took over the investigation in 2011 found the Hindu group Abhinav Bharat was behind the attack. The organisation was also behind the Malegaon blast case of 2008.
Swami Aseemanand, accused in the Samjhauta train blast case, allegedly told the NIA in his confession that he has been told by one Sunil Joshi that the same group which carried out the second blasts was involved also in the first.
Joshi was later murdered and Aseemanand retracted his confession.
The NIA had claimed in 2014 that they had no found no evidence against the first set of accused booked by the ATS and the CBI.
However, during the arguments recently, the NIA last week had opposed their discharge pleas.
Two set of accused can’t be tried in the same case.
“Eight of the nine Muslim accused have sought discharge and we found no evidence against them. However we opposed their discharge on technical grounds as this is not the right time to seek it,” counsel for the NIA Prakash Shetty was quoted as saying by NDTV. Shetty added now it was for the court to decide which set of accused should be tried.