Purohit, Sadhvi to be quizzed by CBI in 2006 Malegaon bombings

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Sumir Kaul

Malegaon/Mumbai, Feb 6 (PTI) With the terror trailleading to Hindu right-wing groups in 2006 Malegaon bombings,the CBI is now planning to question members of such outfitsincluding those arrested in connection with the blasts inMaharashtra''s power-loom city two years later.

The move to question the right-wing groups in the 2006attacks which left 35 people dead comes in the light ofconfession made by Swami Aseemanand, a member of the Hinduright wing group Abhinav Bharat, before a magistrate, officialsources said.

The CBI is likely to question Sadhvi Pragya SinghThakur, Lt Col Prasad Purohit and Pravin Mutalik who have beenarrested in connection with 2008 Malegaon blasts case, thesources said.

In a related development, a MCOCA court will hear thebail application of nine accused arrested earlier by theMaharashtra ATS in the 2006 case tomorrow and the CBI counselis unlikely to oppose their plea.

Aseemanand, who was recently arrested by the CBI, hasstated in his confessional statement that the Malegaon blastwas masterminded by a Hindu group and that a boy arrested inthe case had brought about a change in his heart which led himto spill the beans.

Assemanand, alias Jatin Chatterjee, had alleged in hisstatement that RSS activists had murdered worker Sunil Joshi,who along with others was responsible for Malegaon 2006blasts.

Besides Thakur, Purohit and Mutalik, the CBI willquestion Rakesh Dhawde, Ajay Rahirkar, Shivnarayan Kalsangra,Shyam Sahu, retired army official Ramesh Upadhyay, SameerKulkarni, Jagdish Mhatre, Dayanand Pandey and SudhakarChaturvedi also in the case, the sources said.

All of them were arrested by Maharashtra ATS forallegedly carrying out blasts at Malegaon on September 29,2008 that left six dead and several others injured.

These arrests had given a new direction to the probesinto the terror acts in the country with the role of Hinduextremist groups being exposed by Joint Commissioner of PoliceHemant Karkare, who fell to bullets of Lashker-e-Taibaterrorists on November 26, 2008 during the Mumbai attacks.

All the accused have been booked under varioussections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Maharashtra Controlof Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Unlawful Activities PreventionAct (UAPA), Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act.

The sources said that a team led by Joint DirectorKandaswamy is camping in the power loom city and will examineall forensic evidence that had been collected by the ATS,which was led by the then Joint Commissioner K P Raghuvanshiand his Deputy Inspector General Subodh Jaiswal.

The CBI was re-examining all the forensic andexplosive material seized from the area in connection with thefour bomb explosions in the communally-sensitive Malegaon onSeptember 8, 2006. .

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