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Goa blast: Two policemen moved from probe team

india Updated: Nov 04, 2009 21:11 IST
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Two policemen probing the Diwali eve bombing in Goa have been relieved of their duties, as opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused Home Minister Ravi Naik of influencing the investigation in the Margao blast that killed two people last month.

Police spokesperson Atmaram Deshpande on Wednesday admitted that two constables who were part of the special investigation team (SIT) probing the sensitive case were relieved of their probe duties.

Deshpande, however, said the two were a part of another murder probe "for which they have been relieved".

He denied reports that two deputy superintendents of police, Bossuet Silva and Mohan Naik, were removed from the SIT.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar alleged that Home Minister Ravi Naik was scoring political points targeting his cabinet colleague by directing the police investigation against Jyoti Dhavalikar, wife of Transport Minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar.

Jyoti heads the accounts section of the Sanatan Sanstha, the right-wing Hindu organisation whose activists police claim were involved in the Oct 16 blast opposite a hurch in Margao.

Two people, Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik, both Sanstha associates, were killed.

At the time of the explosion, they were ferrying detonator-rigged gelatin sticks towards a crowded area, when the improvised explosive device (IED) accidentally exploded.

"Ravi Naik is totally politicising the blast probe. He has trained his guns on Dhavalikar. We fear that the blast probe may lose focus with the home minister setting the agenda to score political points," said Parrikar, a former chief minister.

Naik has conceded that an intelligence lapse on part of the police had resulted in the Diwali eve blast in Margao, a major town 35 km from Panaji.