11 May, 2016
Mohammad Zahid would have continued eking out a living earning a paltry Rs.1500 a month. He would have continued to remain a statistic, a faceless teacher at a madrasa in Yavatmal district’s Fulsawangi village, 450 km away from Malegaon, a mid-sized town in Maharashtra. No one would have known that Zahid had to subsist on just Rs.950 a month after paying for a room and water. Yet, a few days after a bomb ripped through the Hamidia mosque, near Malegaon’s Bade Kabristan on September 8, 2006, Zahid was transformed from a poor teacher to a terrorist. It did not matter that he was 450 km away. Maharashtra’s Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) accused him of assembling a bomb, concealing it in a bicycle and parking it next to the mosque. Suddenly, Zahid became one of the bombers responsible for killing 37 and injuring over 100, mostly from their own community. Meet Malegaon’s innocent ‘terrorists’ and hear their stories to know how they were framed and punished for a crime they never committed.