For ‘clarity’, NIA goes back to Malegaon 2006 accused

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has gone back to 34-year-old Abrar Ahmed, accused no. 9 in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, on what they call a "truth-finding" mission. Confined no longer, Abrar, they feel, is now better placed to handle pointed questions.

In 2006, soon after the blast, Abrar's allegations led to the conspiracy being probed by the Maharashtra ATS.

He retracted his statement in 2009, alleging he was pressured. He has told central agencies that he was lured by the ATS with promises of "immovable property" if he named certain people as conspirators.

A new NIA team questioned Abrar for over five hours in two sessions in Malegaon last week. He was made to narrate the sequence of events in the days after the blast when he went missing.

"The investigation is looking into the details that he has narrated. Some of them match, while others remain to be checked. Some others will need continuous probe. The idea is to gain levels of clarity in his allegations," an officer said.

Field officers are also tracking the route Abrar — then an inverter salesman — said he was taken on along with his wife. In his retraction, he had claimed that he was taken to places in Nashik, Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh, allegedly by three policemen dressed as civilians.

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