2008 Malegaon blast: NIA files charges against accused

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jul 26, 2016 00:52 IST
Locals clearing debris from the blast site in 2008. (REUTERS)

After months of arguments on the charges applicable to the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday submitted a draft of the charges against the eight accused.

In the draft submitted before the special court set up for the hearing, the agency did not press any charges against Pragya Singh Thakur and five other accused who the agency has exonerated.

It has also not invoked the MCOCA charges against any of the accused.

Read: NIA asked me to go soft on Malegaon accused: Prosecutor

On May 13, the NIA had submitted a supplementary charge sheet against the accused and exenterated six of them, which included Pragya, Shiv Narayan Kalsangra, Shyam Bhavarlal Sahu, Praveen Takkalki, Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh Choudhury.

The agency said that they had not found sufficient evidence to prosecute the accused.

The agency has now pressed charges against eight accused --- former army official Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni alias Chanakya Sameer, Ajay alias Raja Rahirkar, Rakesh Dhawde, Jagdish Mhatre, Military Intelligence officer Lt Col P S Purohit, self styled religious leader Dayanand Pandey alias Swami Amritanand alias Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange.

The prosecution has pressed charges of conspiracy to carry out blast, murder, attempt to murder, causing loss to government property along with the charges under the Explosives Substance Act and The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against the ten accused.

The special court had recently refused to accept the NIA’s claim of non availability of the evidence against Sadhvi and others for their role in the blast while rejecting Pragya’s bail plea.

The court accepted the charge sheet filed by the central agency but is yet to pass an order to discharge Pragya and the other accused.

The court has observed that evidence from the previous agency (ATS) also needs to be looked into.

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