ATS team leaves for UP to quiz 'right wing' leader
Maharashtra's Anti-terrorism Squad team headed for Uttar Pradesh to probe an unnamed leader aligned with a "right wing" group in connection with the Malegaon blasts.india Updated: Nov 11, 2008 22:46 IST
Maharashtra's Anti-terrorism Squad(ATS) team on Tuesday headed for Uttar Pradesh to probe an unnamed leader aligned with a "right wing" group in connection with the Malegaon blasts amid speculation the person could be a religious leader from Varanasi or BJP MP Yogi Adityanath.
The ATS kept under wraps the identity of the leader or the place they were visiting, a day after it obtained permission from a Nashik court to quiz what it said a "high profile" leader. Officials of the squad however made it clear that the person was not a high profile political leader but a leader aligned with a "right wing group."
As the ATS prepared to extend the multi-state probe to cover UP, BJP MP and religious leader Yogi Adityanath accused the Congress of hatching a conspiracy to defame Hindu organisations and dared authorities to arrest him or his followers from his Gorakhpur Parliamentary constituency.
Sadhvi Pragya Singh and Lt Col S P Purohit are among those arrested in connection with the September 29 Malegaon blast and are believed to be the main conspirators.
There were reports that the leader who the ATS wants to probe in UP had meetings with the Sadhvi and the serving army officer. The name of the UP leader emerged during the interrogation of the nine arrested , officials said.
"The ATS is acting under the instructions of the Congress. There is a dangerous conspiracy going on where an attempt is being made to prove that RSS is a terrorist organisation," Yogi Adityanath alleged in Gorakhpur while charging that the ongoing probe in the Malegaon case is unfair.
The ATS probe in the Malegaon blasts is a "pack of lies and utter rubbish", he said.
One of the arrested in the Malegaon case, Rakesh Dhawade, who was transferred into the custody of the Aurangabad ATS is also being questioned regarding his alleged involvement in the 2004 Jalna and 2006 Nanded blasts.
Investigators are also probing the possible involvement of arrested army official Lt Col Prasad S Purohit in the two blasts as well.
The ATS is also investigating links between Purohit and persons from right wing groups like Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janjagruti Samiti who were arrested for placing crude bombs at two theatres in Thane and Vashi in Navi Mumbai, between May-June this year.
The six, against whom the ATS has filed the chargesheet, are presently in jail for placing the bombs in two theatres which were staging a play which they claimed was offensive to Hindu sentiments.
The ATS will probe possible links between one of the suspects Hemant Chalke, a homeopath and Purohit.
The ATS had taken Purohit to the Bangalore Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for scientific tests like polygraph, brain mapping and narco-analysis to get more leads in the investigation.
Other accused like Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Sameer Kulkarni and former retired army officials Ramesh Upadhyay had also undergone the tests at the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory in suburban Santacruz.
Eight of the nine arrested in the Malegaon case are presently in judicial custody till November 17 while Purohit is in police custody till November 15.