The special court set up to hear the 2008 Malegaon blast case on Thursday granted permission to accused retired major Ramesh Upadhyay to contest upcoming Uttar Pradesh (UP) elections.
Upadhyay had, last week, moved a plea before the special court seeking permission to contest the 2017 UP elections. The National Investigating Agency (NIA),who is probing the case, did not object to the plea.
“Contesting the elections is a question of personal liberty and there is no issue about it. The court has allowed the plea and also asked the jail authorities to cooperate with him,” said special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal.
Upadhyay had also contested the UP elections in 2012. That year, the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha had offered Upadhyay two seats – Ballia, Bairia and Meerut Sadar. However, he had lost the election. This year, he is yet to take a call on how he will contest the elections and so far he has decided to go solo, said sources close to Upadhyay.
Upadhyay is in jail for his role in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. Soon after giving him provisional bail from February 4 to March 4 to participate, the court has now asked the NIA to file its reply on Upadhyay’s plea. “we have received the plea and we have told the court that we would consider it and file a reply by next hearing,” Rasal said.
The NIA alleged that Upadhyay attended all alleged conspiracy meetings held at Bhopal, Faridabad and various other places.
“On 25, 26/1/2008, in a secret meeting at Faridabad, accused Ramesh Upadhyay proposed and accepted the theory of accused Prasad Purohit for a separate constitution for Hindu Rashtra with a separate flag (bhagwa flag). He was part of the discussion on formation of Central Hindu Government (Aryawart) against the Indian government and put forth concept of forming this government in exile in Israel,” reads the charge sheet filed by the central agency.