Chaturvedi sent to police custody till Dec 3 in Malegaon case

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Mumbai, Nov 21 (UNI) The Malegaon blast suspect Sudhakar Chaturvedi, an active member of radical Hindu outfit Abhinav Bharat, was today remanded to police custody till December 3 by the Maharashtra Control for Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court here.

The Anti-terrorist Squad (ATS) also moved an application seeking permission to book nine of the accused under MCOCA. The court has asked the ATS to produce them on November 24.

Seeking police custody for Chaturvedi, the ATS argued before the court that the he was the general secretary of Abhinav Bharat and during interrogation he had taken the name of Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit, another accused in the case.

MCOCA judge Y D Shinde then granted police custody of Chaturvedi to the ATS till December 3.

Chaturvedi had been arrested on November 4 by the Matunga police from Dadar railway station with a pistol, three live cartridges and a fake Army identity card.

Earlier in the day, the District and Sessions Court in Nashik transferred the case to the designated MCOCA court in Sewri here.

The ATS had filed an application demanding transfer of the case to MCOCA court of Justice H K Ganatra, fourth joint civil judge, senior division, in Mumbai after it had applied section 3 of MCOCA on the accused in the case.

The defence lawyers had taken strong objection to the transfer application as the district has two designated MCOCA courts.

Therefore, they argued that the ATS wanted to shift the case to Mumbai for their own convenience. However, the court passed the order to shift the case.

Other suspects of the blast that killed six and injured several others are Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, her two associates Shamlal Sahu, Shivnarayan Singh, Ajay Rahirkar, Jagdish Mhatre, Rakesh Dhawade, Sameer Kulkarni, ex-army man Ramesh Upadhyay, Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit and Dayanand Pande alias Swami Amritanand.

UNI ST/GS SR SW RN1900

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