A blast took place just a day before Eid, in Malegaon, on September 29, 2008. In this blast, more than 100 were injured, and six people were reported dead.
It’s been thirteen years since then, but still, the trials are going on against the seven accused, and almost 198 witnesses have been deposed till now. There are 60 more witnesses left for the investigation, according to the National Investigation Agency.
The list of accused includes Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit and BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur; they were granted bail after being in jail for nine straight years. A special court has been designated for the hearing of the case on a daily basis.
On September 29, 2008, just before the occasion of Eid, the blast took place, leaving more than 100 people injured and six dead. Earlier in 2006, the area experienced four blasts that killed 31 people. In contrast with the 2006 blast, nine Muslim men were arrested by the Maharastra Anti-Terrorism Squad, which claimed their involvement in the blast.
The application was alleged to be floated by Purohit to build a Hindu Rastra, but Purohit denies all the allegations, saying he has nothing to do with the blast, as per the discharge application pending in the Bombay High Court. This case is also under NIA but separately.
Trials for the 2008 blast began in February 2020, with the victims as witnesses. According to them, the blast took place around 9:30 pm, and many of the victims were hospitalized. One of the accused, Avinash Rasal, a special public prosecutor, denied the fact that the explosion took place; therefore, to prove the explosion killed someone, the NIA had to contact the doctors, the injured, and the pathologists who performed a post mortem.
A statement from the ATS claims that BJP MP Thakur provided the motorcycle for the blast. In 2011, when NIA took over the case, Thakur got a clean chit by NIA, which was rejected by the Special Court, which stated that she would have to face the charges with the other six. The manufactures of LMI, Freedom, and dealers were examined, and a few others are remaining.
In the supplementary charge sheet, the National Investigation Agency has recorded the statements of the witness which ATS previously investigated. Both the agencies have some variations in the way of working and especially with the Thakur. Even one of the public prosecutors had been asked by the NIA officer to go slow. Many are still waiting for justice; 13 years is a very long period.
The 2008 blast was the second terror attack in the town. Still, around 60 witnesses are left for the examination; no one knows how much time this case will take to make the final decision. Still, people trust the law and court for justice, but the proceedings and time can snatch their trust. Holding on for this long can result in the loss of witness as anything can happen to them.
It is about the law and order which we follow. More than 100 people were injured, and a greater number of people were traumatized by the blast. Many families were ruined, many loved ones died, and many were traumatized. In the trials, NIA has informed Bombay High Court they will bring down the number of witnesses as at the initial stage, more than 400 witnesses were listed. For now, all the accused of the 2008 blast are out on bail, and the trials will continue. Several people are wondering how long it will take to reach a decision and what is causing so much delay in the sentencing of the perpetrators.