Lt Col Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya among 7 charged under UAPA for Malegaon blasts
Malegaon Bast Case: Six persons were killed and over a 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a power loom town located about 200 km from Mumbai in North Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.Updated: Oct 30, 2018 23:13 IST
A special court on Tuesday framed charges in the 2008 Malegaon blast case against Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and five others under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC), setting the ball rolling for the beginning of the trial.
Judge Vinod Padalkar, presiding over the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, framed charges against all seven accused for committing terror acts, conspiring to commit terrorist acts, criminal conspiracy and murder, among others. If convicted, the maximum punishment can be life imprisonment or death.
The court posted the case on November 2 for the trial to commence. Apart from Purohit and Thakur, the other accused are Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni.
On September 29, 2008, six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a powerloom town about 200 km from Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The judge, while reading out the charges against the accused persons said: “The Abhinav Bharat organisation was formed with the common object to spread terrorism and a bomb with RDX was planted on a motorcycle in Malegaon that killed six persons and injured 101 others. The accused persons came together to hatch a conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and procured explosives to further their conspiracy.”
According to the prosecution, the accused had formed the right-wing group Abhinav Bharat and held meetings under this group’s name in various parts of the country, where the alleged conspiracy was hatched.
All the accused pleaded not guilty in the case. The accused were charged under sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA.
(With PTI inputs)