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'Pandey had a hand in Kanpur blast too'

The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad officials have said that Malegaon blast accused Dayanand Pandey alias Swami Amritanand is suspected to have a role in the Kanpur blast too.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2008 19:50 IST

Malegaon blast accused Dayanand Pandey alias Swami Amritanand is suspected to have a role in the Kanpur blast too, Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials said on Sunday after raiding the home of the self-styled Shankaracharya's family.

The raid was conducted at his father's house in Kanpur late on Saturday night from where he was arrested on Wednesday after his name surfaced during the interrogation of those arrested earlier.

According to ATS sources, the raid was in connection with the Kanpur blast in August in which two people were killed in a house while assembling bombs.

"The team has recovered objectionable literature from the house and a link between him and one of the victims of the Kanpur blast has also surfaced during the investigations after Pandey's arrest," a senior ATS official said on condition of anonymity.

Bhupinder Singh and Rajiv Mishra, who died in the powerful explosion in Kanpur Aug 24, were suspected to be assembling bombs and later were found to be active members of Bajrang Dal.

Kanpur police chief HR Sharma, talking to mediapersons on a number of occasions after Pandey's arrest, has maintained that the police are close to solving the blast case.

"We had gathered vital clues even before Pandey's arrest and will solve the case in a few days," Sharma has said.

The ATS has also discovered that Pandey and Mishra were in constant touch over phone and it was after the explosion that Pandey changed his mobile phone number once again, according to the source.

"Call details of both of them revealed that they were in constant touch and both the numbers were procured on fake identities," the source said.

Moreover, the ATS team also raided the house of Pandey's parents in Kaamdhenua village of Deoria district on Friday and recovered some handwritten objectionable literature.

"However, no one in that village could give any information about him or his family as they had left the village a long time ago," said an official.

First Published: Nov 16, 2008 19:34 IST