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Maharashtra ATS in Jammu for investigations

india Updated: Nov 13, 2008 15:20 IST

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which is probing the September 29 Malegaon Blasts, has sent a team to Jammu and Kashmir to interrogate the detained persons there, a senior ATS official said on Thursday.

The ATS, along with the Uttar Pradesh police, had on Thursday arrested Dayanand Pandey alias Sudhakar Dwivedi believed to be a 'seer', who allegedly played a major role in the blast conspiracy.

Pandey's Chartered Accountant (CA) VK Kapoor and his son Pawan were also detained in Jammu for questioning. The duo were however let off as "nothing adverse" was found against them, the official said.

Pandey heads the Sharda Sarvagya Peeth in Jammu, the finance of which was managed by Kapoor and his son.

The ATS chief Hemant Karkare yesterday said that Pandey had attended several meetings prior to the blast alongwith Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit and other accused in Nashik and Madhya Pradesh.

Pandey will be brought to Mumbai after preliminary interrogation in Lucknow, he said.

The ATS chief had also clarified that except Purohit no other serving army officer has been questioned or detained in connection with the blast.

He had also said that the ATS is not "after any political leader from Uttar Pradesh and none of its official has been sent to Gorakhpur."

Till now, the ATS has arrested nine persons and have been booked them in cases for conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder and under the Indian Explosives Act.

Regarding media reports of Purohit and other arrested accused's role in other blasts, Karakare said only Rakesh Dhawde's role in the Nanded blast had been established.

"Dhawde, who was arrested from Pune, had given training in weapons and explosives to the accused in the Nanded blast and hence he would soon be booked in that case also," Karkare said.