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2 more held for Malegaon blast

india Updated: Oct 30, 2008 01:04 IST
Stavan Desai
Stavan Desai
Hindustan Times
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The Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Tuesday night arrested retired Major of Territorial Army Ramesh Upadhaye and RSS worker Sameer Kulkarni for their alleged role in the Malegaon blast case. Both were produced before a Nashik court, which remanded them to custody till November 11.

Upadhye, who was a BJP worker till 2002, alleged before the court that he had been beaten by the ATS officers during questioning. He told the court, “You can see the marks on my body. I am a patriot and have no role in the blast. I am ready to co-operate with the police and even undergo narco tests.”

He further told the court, while refuting allegations of his association with prime accused Pragya Singh, that he had spoken to her only once and shared a platform with her thrice.

Meanwhile, the ATS detected the first of the Gujarat links to this year’s September 29 blast at Malegaon after it detained and brought to the city two persons from Modasa town in north Gujarat in connection with their suspected role in the blast.

ATS officials, who did not want to be named, identified the two as Devji Rana and Ashwin Patel.

Modasa, a small town in north Gujarat, had also witnessed a blast on the same day when one occurred at the textile town of Malegaon — and in a similar manner. In both the cases, two persons had planted a bomb on a motorcycle. While, one person was killed in the blast at Modasa, six died in Malegaon.

ATS, which has arrested three persons, including the sadhvi for their alleged involvement in the Malegaon blast, has been suspecting links of the accused with the Modasa blast.

However, while a mixture of RDX and Ammonium Nitrate was found to have been used in the blast at Malegaon, the primary explosive substance used in the Modasa blast was gunpowder, forensic experts said.

Both, Rana and Patel, after being brought to the city, were taken to the KEM Hospital for a medical check up after which they were taken to a ATS unit in central Mumbai for questioning.

“We are still verifying their links with the arrested accused and what role they played. And that is the reason they have been brought here,” said an ATS official. “No arrests have been made yet. These two might even turn out to be crucial witnesses in the case. It depends on the course of the investigations,” he added.