The 11 people linked to the Hindu right-wing group, Sanatan Sanstha, and facing trial for attempting to set off serial blasts in Goa last year, had conducted four test blasts in Goa and Maharashtra.
The Goa-based group's plans were exposed when a bomb they were carrying on a scooter exploded on October 16, killing two of its members.
The National Investigation Agency's (NIA) charge sheet said the test blasts, using gelatin sticks, were first carried out at Ponda in Goa on August 26-28 last year.
The second round of test blasts was conducted "in the last week of September 2009 at Jath, Sangli, in Maharashtra", the charge sheet said. Hindustan Times has a copy of the charge sheet filed by S. Vijayan, superintendent of police, NIA, two months ago in a Goa court.
The charge sheet said the accused wanted to trigger a series of blasts during the Narkasur Vadh celebrations in Goa – an annual ritual before Diwali – as the group is opposed to the festivities, believing it to be disrespectful towards Lord Krishna. Locals make large idols of Narkasur, a mythological demon and comparatively smaller-sized idols of Lord Krishna.
Sanatan Sanstha had objected to this practice since 1999 and had drawn up plans to disrupt it in 2009 "either by banning or preventing the organisers" from conducting the festivities, the charge sheet stated. The Sanstha spokesperson refused to comment on the matter.