New Delhi, February 8 Wajahat Habibullah, new Chairman, National Minorities Commission said here today the arrest of nine Muslim youth in the 2006 Malegaon blasts and their detention without any evidence appear to be improper and mulled stepping in for their release.
Habibullah said people had approached him seeking the intervention of the Commission to get the youth freed in the wake of Swami Aseemanand's confessional statement that the blasts were the handiwork of the right-wing terror groups.
The nine youth were in jail since October 2006, a month after three simultaneous blasts rocked the power loom town in Nashik district in Maharashtra killing 35 people.
Habibullah was replying to a question whether the arrested youth should be freed in the wake of the confessional statement by Swami Aseemanand before a magistrate in which he had claimed that the 2006 Malegaon blasts were also a handiwork of right-wing groups.
"So far, I have not taken any step but I will think over it and could take a step later,"Habibullah told media. Habibullah said the arrest of some Muslim youth in connection with the Malegaon blast did not appear to be proper.
"I feel the arrest of some Muslim youth in the Malegaon blast case is not proper. It appears that there is no evidence against them. It is my personal opinion that if there is no evidence against anyone, it was improper to keep him under detention,"Habibullah said.
Maharashtra's elite Anti Terror Squad (ATS) and the CBI, which had come under attack on their probe into the blasts had arrested nine people immediately after the blasts that shook the town on September 8, 2006.
Aseemanand, who was recently arrested by the CBI, had stated in his confessional statement that the Malegaon blast was the masterminded by a Hindu group and that a boy arrested in the case had brought about a change in his heart which led him to spill the beans.
Assemanand, alias Jatin Chatterjee, had alleged in his statement that RSS activists had murdered worker Sunil Joshi, who along with others were responsible for 2006 Malegaon blasts.
To a question on reservation for Muslims, he said: "It is difficult to say that the uplift of Muslims was possible only through reservation. Reservation could be one remedy but government will have to give other types of concessions. I don't think that only through reservation solutions could be found to all problems.”