Mumbai: Charges against eight Muslim youths accused in the 2006 Malegaon bomb blasts case were dropped on Monday by a special court in Mumbai due to lack of evidence against them. The accused were discharged by V.V. Patil, designated judge of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), nearly 10 years after the serial bomb blasts outside a Muslim cemetery near a Mosque at Malegaon, near Nashik, on 8 September 2006, killing 37 people and leaving over 100 injured.

Bombs were planted on a bicycle parked near the cemetery while Friday prayers were on at the Mosque on the occasion of Shab-e-Baraat. Nine accused were initially arrested in the case and chargesheeted by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). One of them died while the case was pending. Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which took over the investigations, also confirmed the charges against them.

Subsequently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was asked to probe the case and the agency arrested another set of people belonging to the majority community, who continue to be accused in the case. The judge said that he was accepting the discharge application filed by the eight accused as there was no evidence to prove their guilt.