The Mumbai Police on Friday claimed to have foiled a plot to kill the lawyers of Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur, one of the prime accused in last year's blast in Malegaon, and have arrested four men.
The police have nabbed four henchmen of the absconding mafia don Chhota Shakeel, believed to be in Pakistan, who were assigned the task of killing advocates Ganesh Sovani and Navin Chhotumal, a senior police official said.
When contacted, Sovani, who is out of Mumbai, declined to comment on the police action.
According to the police, the four accused are Mohammed Asmal Ismail Ghachi alias Doctor, Kamil Anwar Ifzee alias John, Shahid Mohammedali Fakir alias Babu and Arvind Kumar Pathak alias Pandit.
The four were held from Sewri, a suburb in central Mumbai, and two pistols, two knives and two motorcycles were recovered from them, the official said.
Sadhvi Pragnya, charged under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), is presently under magisterial custody in a Mumbai jail.
Arrested in October last year, her bail application was rejected by the MCOCA court Thursday.
Sadhvi Pragnya and 11 other associates were arrested by the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) for their alleged role in the Sep 29, 2008 Malegaon blast that left six dead and many injured.
The police are contemplating providing security to Sovani and Chhotumal in view of the threats, an official said.