The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Thursday filed a charge sheet against Abhinav Bharat activist Praveen Muthalik, saying he was one of the conspirators of the September 2008 bombings in Malegaon.
Praveen Venkatesh Takalki alias Praveen Muthalik, accused of assembling explosive device at a room rented by Sudhakar Chaturvedi, has been charged with various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act, Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
In the 305-page charge sheet, which lists 40 witnesses against Muthalik, the ATS has claimed that he had worked as a personal secretary to Lt. Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit, a key accused in the case, for three months before the blast.
The ATS has claimed that Muthalik was an “important link” in the criminal conspiracy to trigger blasts in Malegaon, which is famous for power-loom industry.
Muthalik, who was arrested on January 31, 2011, from a small town in Belgaum district in Karnataka, had assembled bombs at the behest of Purohit. The ATS has charged him for aiding and abetting the terrorist act alleging that he had received training for assembling bombs.
According to the ATS, Muthalik had, on September 22, 2008, taken keys of the rented room of Chaturvedi, who is another arrested accused in the case, where the explosive device was assembled. Forensic evidence has established that samples of the RDX collected from the room and the traces found at the site of the blast matched.
The ATS has so far managed to arrest 12 persons in connection with the blasts that took place on September 29, 2008, leaving six people dead and many others injured.
Those arrested also includes Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, parts of whose motorcycle were allegedly used to place the RDX-laden bomb.