Malegaon blasts: Ex-Army officer, aide arrested

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Mumbai, Oct 29: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested Sameer Kulkarni and Major (retd.) Ramesh Upadhyay in connection with the blasts in Malegaon town of Maharashtra on September 29. Ramesh Upadhyay, a resident of Pune, is working president of an organisation called Abhinav Bharat. Sameer Kulkarni, a member of the same group, is from Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

ATS will produce the two men before a Nashik court on Wednesday, Oct 29. Upadhyay and Kulkarni are suspected to have trained the people who planted low-intensity bombs in Malegaon on the night of September 29. Sources report that Kulkarni is a former member of the BJP's student front Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Abhinav Bharat was allegedly formed in 2006, on its website claims it was formed with the aim of combating terrorism and rebuilding the nation around the Hindu culture. It is an obscure organisation and it claims to be 'training' Hindus on how to fight terrorists.

Three persons, including the 38-year-old sadhvi, were arrested last Thursday in connection with the blast in Malegaon, the communally sensitive powerloom town, which claimed six lives. Pragnya Singh, who hails from Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh, was accused of having provided the motorcycle used in the blast at Bhikku Chawk on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr.

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