A former officer of Maharashtra’s anti-terrorism squad has claimed that two key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case were not missing but had, in fact, been killed by the ATS on November 26, 2008.
Talking to HT, suspended Police Inspector Mehboob Mujawar claimed Ramchandra Kalsangre and Sandeep Dange, who are currently shown as wanted, were killed by ATS officials and said he had filed an application and submitted evidence before the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Solapur on August 19, 2016. The matter came to light on Thursday after Mujawar gave an interview to the TV channel Times Now.
An improvised explosive device (IED) hidden in a motorcycle had gone off on September 29, 2008, in Malegaon town killing six people and injuring 101. The ATS had arrested several people including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, and Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit in this connection and filed a charge sheet against 14 people, including Kalsangre and Dange, who are listed as wanted.
Mujawar alleged that three senior officials of the Maharashtra police — two retired DGs and one high ranking serving IPS official — tried to suppress information about the killings. (HT is not naming them as there is no evidence to corroborate Mujawar’s claims in this regard.)
“We will verify his claims,” said a senior official with the NIA, which is now investigating the case, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The officer added that Mujawar never contacted the NIA before making his allegations public.
Mujawar claimed, “It was around the time when Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was arrested that Kalsangre and Dange were also picked up by the ATS from Bhopal. On 26/11/2008 (the day the Mumbai terror siege began), the two were gunned down in Mumbai.” The two were kept ‘illegally detained’ in an ATS office in Kalachowkie before they were killed, he alleged.
Mujawar claimed that he was sent to Karnataka by the ATS to try and find the missing duo, though they had been killed. He further claimed that since he was against the killings, a fake case under the arms act was filed against him in Solapur (April 15, 2009) to silence him. “And I was arrested on April 17,” he said.
Mujawar, who was suspended from service three years ago, said he has been questioned several times at the state DGP’s office and that he had submitted written and oral evidence before senior officials — who he alleged were suppressing facts.
According to the ATS, Ramji Kalsangra was second-in-command of the operation to carry out the blast, after Dayanand Pandey. He allegedly used Pragya Thakur’s two-wheeler to plant the bomb.
Dange had allegedly accompanied Kalsangra to Malegaon.