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Petlawad blast: DNA test confirms main accused Rajendra Kaswa is dead

The main accused of Petlawad blast in Jhabua which left more than 80 people dead, Rajendra Kaswa, (52), has been declared dead by Madhya Pradesh police.

indore Updated: Dec 07, 2015 21:44 IST
Petlawad blast,Jhabua explosion,Rajendra Kaswa
DGP Surendra Sinh and IG Vipin Maheshwari at the scene of the blast at Petlawad, Jhabua.(HT file photo)

The main accused of Petlawad blast in Jhabua which left more than 80 people dead, Rajendra Kaswa, (52), has been declared dead by Madhya Pradesh police. The DNA of one of the bodies found at the blast site matched with that of his family members, police said.

The DNA samples were sent to State Forensic Laboratory (Sagar) for examination.

Additional Director General (ADG) and IG (Indore zone), Vipin Maheswari, talking to Hindustan Times said that the DNA samples of one of the three unclaimed bodies matched with DNA of Kaswa’s son.

“Parts of the three bodies were recovered from the blast site which remained unclaimed. We decided to take DNA samples and match it with family members of Kaswa. As per the reports submitted to district police by the laboratory, the DNA matched which suggests that Kaswa died in the blast,” added Maheswari.

Madhya Pradesh police booked Rajendra Kaswa under section 304 IPC and 3/4 of Explosives Act and have been searching him since the day of the blast.

On September 12, 84 people were killed and nearly 100 injured after a massive blast, caused by mining explosives stored illegally, ripped through a crowded area in the town.

The godown in which the blast took place was taken on rent by Rajendra Kaswa , who was in the business of taking up contracts to build wells and was licensed to store explosives.

Kaswa had Shot Firer’s Certificate (SFC) though which he was authorized for blasting for various purposes including construction of roads and digging wells. But as per the police, the explosives were illegally stored in the building where the explosion took place as the SFC holder cannot store explosives and can only issue explosives from certified magazine for any purpose.

Notably, it was just one day after the blast that police seized 59 detonators and two batteries from Kaswa’s another house in Petlawad.

Kaswa’s elder brother had dies in similar blast 8 yrs ago

With the match of the DNA samples, theories of Kaswa’s disappearances have ended. Kaswa’s elder brother, Shanti Lal, had also died in a similar explosion eight years ago, police sources said.

It is worth mentioning here that Kaswa’s two other brothers, Narendra and Phoolchandra were booked under section of IPC and are in jail in Petlwad blast.

As per the police sources, Kaswa’s family was in this illegal storage of explosives since last three decades. Police sources said that a case under explosives act was registered against Kaswa in Jhabua in 1981.

Kaswa went missing after the incident, and initially police were also suspicious that he was alove and had absconded.

Three days later senior police officials claimed that they have witnesses who claimed that Kaswa was alive. They sent teams to various places of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

CM had formed SIT to nab Kaswa and probe Petlawad blast

The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh had formed a special investigation team (SIT) to nab Kaswa and probe the Petlwad blast. Later, SIT decided to conduct a DNA test of unclaimed body to enquire the death of Kaswa in the blast.

Many eyewitnesses claimed that before the massive blast in godown, a small blast took place. It was then that some of people who were known to Rajendra Kaswa called him and he rushed to the spot. When he came to the godown in next 10 minutes along with one of his servants, he found that something was burning and tried to control the situation but till then another massive blast took place.

“I had seen Rajendra Kaswa on that day from by balcony just after the small blast took place. He was shouting and trying to enter in the godown. I rushed to inform my husband but till then the second blast took place,” Sharmila Kataria, housewife who live about 50 meters from blast site had told Hindustan Times on the day of incident.

First Published: Dec 07, 2015 21:44 IST