Seer of Jammu peeth taken to custody by Mumbai ATS in Kanpur

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Lucknow, Nov 12 (UNI) A Hindu seer Dayanand Pandey alias Amritanand Swami, the Peethadishwar of the Sharda Sarvagya Peeth, Jammu was today taken into custody in connection with the Malegaon blasts case after he was rounded up from Rawatpur in Kanpur city.

The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) handed him over to the Mumbai ATS on the direction of Chief Judicial Magistarte (CJM) court of Nashik, on the request of the Mumbai ATS.

''Since no warrant has been issued against him, the Mumbai ATS has sought his custody for interrogation only during the course of Malegaon blasts probe,'' Additional Director General of Police (ADG), law and order, UP told mediapersons here.

He said Dayanand Pandey was in Jammu since 2003 and was residing in Trikut Nagar locality of northern Indian town.

The two member Mumbai ATS team headed by an ACP rank officer M Kulkarni had arrived here last night to seek the assistance of the UP ATS in this regard and proceeded to Kanpur early this morning.

Dayanand' who was residing in a Jammu math, was known as Amritanand Swami there after. Being brought here from Kanpur, Dayanand Pandey would be produced in a special ATS court. ''Mumbai ATS will seek his remand if they want,'' Mr Lal said.

The Kanpur links with the Malegaon blasts were under scanner since August 24 incident, in which two Bajrang Dal activists Bhupendra Singh Chopra and Rajiv Mishra were killed at Rajivnagar locality of Kanpur.

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

A lot of significance was attached to the Kanpur incident 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 had also suggested that of material blasts. 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 was it difficult for to substantiate their evidence.

The mobile phone calls of both the deceased were also traced in the process and according to a senior ATS official, '' they are in constant touch with Hindu activists in MP and Maharashtra and trying to establish a missing link, if any.'' ''Now the only point of probe is what role the Hindu activists of Kanpur had to play in the Malegaon blasts and whether they had any connection with Pragya Singh Thakur,''the ATS official said yesterday.

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 RSC GT RN1838

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