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Malegaon blast accused Sameer Kulkarni demands security cover urgently

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Mumbai, May 11: Sameer Kulkarni, one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case who is out on bail, has reportedly written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding security cover on an urgent basis.

Kulkarni has not mentioned any specific threat to him in his letter to the Chief Minister.

Kulkarni, a printing press employee from Bhopal, was arrested soon after the blast. According to the prosecution, he is alleged to have arranged chemicals used in the blast.

Sameer Kulkarni, one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case

In April 2017, a sessions court in Mumbai granted bail to Kulkarni, who earlier arrested for his alleged involvement in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case. The court granted Kulkarni bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 on the grounds of parity, as several other accused in the case including Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and retired Army Major Ramesh Upadhyay, were also been given bail.

In the Malegaon case, Kulkarni has challenged the decision of the special NIA court permitting the probe agency to bring photocopies of missing statements of witnesses and confessions of the accused on record, and lead evidence in its support.

[Lt Col Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya charged in 2008 Malegaon blast case: A timeline]

In January 2017, the special NIA court had permitted the use of photocopies after the probe agency submitted that some files containing original witness statements and confessions of accused under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Section 164 had gone missing and could not be traced.

The Bombay High Court while hearing hearing a bunch of appeals filed by Sameer Kulkarni in January this year had asked the National Investigating Agency (NIA) how it and the trial court verified the authenticity of photocopies, a PTI report said.

[Malegaon to Samjhauta: How politics of terror derailed these cases]

Another accused in the Malegaon blast case Pragya Thakur, who is also out on bail and is contesting the Lok Sabha polls on a BJP ticket from Bhopal, had in April said that slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare was killed because she had "cursed" him. Karkare, who was also leading the probe into the Malegaon case, was killed in the line of duty during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.

Kulkarni had disagreed with Thakur's statement about Karkare and claimed that if Karkare was alive he would've been acquitted.

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