The Bombay High Court on Friday granted bail to four accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case nearly seven years after they were arrested. A division bench of Justices Indrajit Mahant and A M Badar granted bail to Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Rajendra Chaudhary and Manohar Narwariya, who belonged to a Hindu right-wing group Abhinav Bharat.
They had moved the high court after a special NIA court denied the relief. The four were arrested on December 29, 2012. On September 8, 2006, serial bomb blasts in a cemetery near Hamidiya Masjid in Malegaon had claimed 37 lives and left over a 100 people injured.
The accused were charged under various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The charges include section 16 (committing terrorist act) of the UAPA and sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship ) and 153 (a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups) of the IPC.
They have also been charged under relevant sections of the Explosives Substances Act. In another blast in Malegaon in 2008, six people were killed and a dozen others were injured when a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded.
The accused in this case are Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Ajay Rahirkar, Sameer Kulkarni and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.
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