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Abhinav Bharat chief was aware of Malegaon conspiracy

india Updated: Jan 21, 2009 22:39 IST

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Himani Savarkar, president of right wing group Abhinav Bharat and a kin of freedom fighter Veer Savarkar, was aware of the conspiracy hatched to carry out "activities" in Muslim-dominated Malegaon to avenge "atrocities" against Hindus but she kept mum, police sources said.

She has admitted this in a statement given to Pune unit of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) which probed the September 29 blast in the communally-sensitive powerloom town, the sources said.

Himani, married to nephew of freedom fighter Veer Savarkar, had attended a meeting in April 2008 in Indore where Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Dayanand Pandey, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and retired army officer Ramesh Upadhyay, all accused in the blast, were also present, they said.

According to Himani's statement, in the meeting Purohit had said that Malegaon is a Muslim-dominated town and some "activities" can be carried out there to avenge the "atrocities" committed against Hindus. "Sadhvi had then said she can arrange for men who will carry out such activities", said the sources.

There was another meeting in June-July 2008 in Jabalpur, which was again attended by these accused, she said.

Himani, who is also the niece of Nathuram Godse, had taken over as Abhinav Bharat President in April 2008 after she was approached by Sameer Kulkarni (also an accused in Malegaon blast case) who had formed the group in Madhya Pradesh along with a friend.

"The Malegaon blast has not been carried out by Abhinav Bharat or its members. Kulkarni, Upadhyay and Chaturvedi are innocent. The others who have been arrested may also not be involved in the blast," the statement said.