The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Friday told the Nashik chief judicial magistrate court that Dayanand Pandey played a very crucial role in the Malegoan blast.
The ATS told the court Pandey was close to absconding accused Ramji Kalasranga, who allegedly planted the explosive-laden motorcycle in Malegoan on September 29. Special public prosecutor Ajay Mishar said Pandey also attended meetings with key accused Sadhvi Pragaya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit twice — the first time in Faridabad on January 26 and the second in Bhopal on April 12.
Mishar revealed to the court that during the course of the investigation, it was unearthed that it was on Pandey’s direction that Purohit arranged for the explosives allegedly used in the blast. Furthermore, Mishar contended that Ajay Rahikar, treasurer of Abhinav Bharat, transferred huge amounts of money to Pandey’s account.
The ATS arrested Pandey after his name cropped up during the interrogation of Thakur and Purohit.
Accepting the prosecution’s contention, the chief judicial magistrate remanded Pandey in police custody till November 26.
Pandey, while speaking in court, said his name was Sudhakar Diwvedi, alias Swami Amrithanand. He said the ATS personnel had brutally assaulted him while he was in their custody. “I am ready for any investigation but I should not be assaulted,” he said.
His counsel Balkrishna More argued that Pandey should be sent for medical examination. and be sent to judicial custody as he might be assaulted further if he remained in the ATS’s custody. He also said the ATS did not have any fresh medical reports and the reports produced were before his arrest.
However, the magistrate, after checking Pandey in his chamber, said there were no visible injuries.
The ATS till now has arrested 10 persons in connection with the Malegoan blast. All the accused have been charged with murder and conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code, the Explosives Act and the Unlawful Assembly (Prevention) Act.
While Thakur’s judicial custody expires on November 17, Purohit would be produced in court on Saturday.