Malegaon: ATS raid in MP town

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Jabalpur, Oct 30 (UNI) In the wake of the arrest of former Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) activist and Malegon blast-accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) has raided a residence here for arresting a pro-Hindu organisation's leader.

Sources said that Abhinav Bharat Party (ABP) Madhya Pradesh unit Vice-President Mayaram Jeswani's residence was raided last night.

The ATS was monitoring Jeswani's activities and made an unsuccessful attempt to arrest him through the medium of an ABP office-bearer taken into custody by it in Uttar Pradesh.

Police officers denied knowledge of yesterday's raid and Jeswani's family members said that he did not return home since last night.

However, police searched the sadhvi's former local residence on Sunday. ''We received information from Maharashtra Police that the sadhvi lived in rented accommodation in Gorakhpur locality some months back,'' said Additional Superintendent of Police Manish Kapuria. The search did not yield any objectionable material.

Defending the sadhvi, Bharatiya Jan Shakti Founder-President and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Uma Bharti said on Sunday that such allegations were being made to defame Hindu outfits.

The former Union minister alleged that some international organisations were attempting to tarnish the image of Hindu organisations such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, ABVP, Bajrang Dal and others by linking their names with terrorism in a pre-planned manner.

The matter assumed political overtones with state Public Works Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya yesterday accusing the main opposition Congress of indulging in rhetoric over the sadhvi.

Pragya Singh Thakur alias Sadhvi Purna Chetnanand Giri and three others were arrested recently for alleged involvement in the September blast that claimed 29 lives and injured 30.

UNI Team-AC 1746

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