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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

2008 Malegaon blast: Special court in Mumbai likely to decide fate of six accused today

The court is expected to frame charges against the six accused, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, on Thursday

mumbai Updated: Dec 21, 2017 12:07 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the case.
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the case.(HT File Photo)

The special court assigned to hear the 2008 Malegaon blast case is likely to decide the fate of the six accused, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, on Thursday. It is expected to frame charges against the accused and pave way for the trial.

The accused, booked by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), had been given a clean chit by the National Investigating Agency (NIA).

What the prosecution says
  • According to prosecution, Lt Col PS Purohit floated an outfit, Abhinav Bharat, to establish a separate Hindu rashtra with its own Constitution. He brought RDX from Kashmir during his posting there and stored it in his house. Another army man and explosive expert, Ramesh Upadhyay, helped the group prepare bombs. A bike owned by Sadhvi, alleged to be co-conspirator and a key accused, was used to plant the bomb. Rakesh Dhawde, in the business of antique weapons in Pune, held several training camps for the blast.

Other crucial issues related to the case may also be determined, such as whether the charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999, (MCOCA) are applicable or not.

Thakur was the first arrest made by the ATS after the blast in September 2008, which killed six people and injured 101 others. The ATS holds that the blast was a conspiracy planned by a right-wing Hindu group and targeted Malegaon’s Muslim population.

It then arrested on duty army officer Lt Col Prasad Purohit and retired officer major Ramesh Upadhyay along with few other accused. In all, the ATS arrested 11 people in October and November 2008.

However, in April 2011, the investigation was transferred to the NIA, which after investigation, gave a clean chit to Sadhvi and five others, observing that the evidence gathered against them was not sufficient for prosecution.

Though out on bail, the six accused have not been discharged from the case. The court has said that it will decide on the discharge plea of the six accused and the plea of the other accused for dropping MCOCA charges when it frames charges.

The accused include Thakur, Shiv Narayan Kalsangra, Shyam Sahu, Pravin Takkalki, Lokesh Sharma and Dhan Singh Chaudhary.

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 12:07 IST

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