UP police, ATS establishing link between Malegaon and Knp blast

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Lucknow, Nov 11 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh police and its Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) are trying to establish link between Malegaon bomb blasts and rather obscure looking August 24 incident, in which two Bajrang Dal activists Bhupendra Singh Chopra and Rajiv Mishra were killed in Rajivnagar locality of Kanpur.

The expediency in the probe came after Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur's arrest in Mumbai in connection with the Malegaon blast and subsequent revelation by Maharashtra ATS with regards to her links with the Hindu organisations.

A lot of siginificance was attached to Kanpur incident,though at a later stage, as a huge cache of explosives was recovered from the site that led to the suspicion that both were making bombs for carrying out terror attacks. Forensic reports have suggested that the material recovered from the Kanpur blast site was similar to that at Malegaon.

The UP ATS had been able to gather enough material and circumstantial evidence against the two Bajrang Dal activists, but since the blast killed both bomb makers, it found it difficult to substantiate their evidences.

''Yes, at least Bhupinder Singh Chopra had a shady past and was a frontline Bajrang Dal leader who, in 2000, imparted firearms training to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, its Durga Vahini women's wing, and the Shiv Sena's Rashtriya Mukti Vahini, '' a senior UP police official told UNI.

He said the ATS was still working on it being in touch with its Maharashtra counterparts probing deep into the role of two persons, who were killed in the blast in Kanpur.

The mobile phone calls of both the deceased also showed they were in constant touch with Hindu activists in MP and Maharashtra.

''Various phone numbers have been traced and we are trying to establish a missing link, if any,'' a senior ATS official said.

It may be pointed out that five cases were registered against Bhupinder Singh Chopra in post-Babri demolition riots in Kanpur in 1992 and his involvement with the Hindu organisations mainly Bajrang Dal was more or less certain.

''Now the only point of probe is whether Chopra had any role in Malegaon blast and had any connection with Pragya Singh Thakur,''the ATS official said.

Interestingly, Kanpur is the parliamentary constituency of Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal and the Centre was taking much interst in the expedient investigation in the Malegaon blasts.

UNI SB JAS SY KN1453

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