The latest addition to the list of high-profile persons having “some contact” with Dayanand Pandey alias Swami Amritanand, arrested in the Malegaon blast case, is former J&K governor Jagmohan.
A photograph on the net shows the then union minister in the company of controversial seer at a function in the national capital in February 2004.
The website of Zyestha Devi Prabhandhak Committee, which manages the Sri Zyestha Mata temple at Zeethyar near Raj Bhawan in Srinagar, has a photo of Pandey and Jagmohan felicitating the body for “selfless services rendered in developing, up-keeping and maintaining” the shrine complex.
In the picture on http://zeashtadevi.com/committee.htm, committee president Kuldeep Raina is seen receiving a shawl and a memento from Jagmohan (pic) on Shiv Ratri Sammelan, organised by the J&K Vicharmanch at B.K. Ganjoo Park in New Delhi.
Jagmohan, however, denied knowing Pandey. “I don’t know the man at all. I must have gone there as a member of parliament and a minister for some function because the venue was in my constituency,” he told HT.
The committee too has distanced itself from the seer. “He has no connection with the Zyestha Devi Prabhandhak Committee. He might have visited the shrine few years ago to pay obeisance. But, then anybody can visit the shrine,” said Raina, the private secretary to J&K DGP Kuldeep Khoda.