India Malegaon bombing accused seek bail

Lawyers in India representing nine Muslim men accused of a bombing have applied for bail following the reported confession of a Hindu holy man to the crime. The bombing in western Maharashtra state killed 37 Muslims at a cemetery five years ago. The confession by Swami Aseemanand reportedly places responsibility for the attack on Hindu radicals. However, his lawyer said the statements were extracted under duress.

Many people in the town of Malegaon, where the attack took place, are demanding an inquiry into why police investigations had led to the arrest of the Muslim suspects in the first place. At least 37 people were killed and more than 125 others injured in bombings at a Muslim graveyard in the the mainly Muslim town of Malegaon in 2006. Swami Aseemanand has allegedly confessed to carrying out the assaults on Malegaon. In addition, he has allegedly admitted to placing bombs on a train to Pakistan, at a Sufi shrine and at a mosque. He has been remanded in custody for the four attacks until 27 January. Mr Aseemanand was arrested in November after being in hiding for two years, police said. According to India’s Tehelka magazine, which has obtained a copy of his 42-page confession, he told his interrogators that the attacks on Muslim places were in response to attacks by Islamist militants in India. – BBC