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Ahmednagar ‘parcel bomb’ was meant for social activist Sanjay Nahar, say police

The courier package included a handwritten note in the name of a former student of Nahar thanking him for the help extended during her times of distress.

pune Updated: Mar 21, 2018 22:42 IST
Pune,Maharashtra,Sanjay Nahar
Police personnel at Maruti courier where blast took place at Ahmednagar near Pune. (HT PHOTO )

The ‘bomb’ was a mid-sized radio which exploded when a courier staff plugged it into the power socket. It was being sent as a gift to Sanjay Nahar

Two persons were injured after a low intensity blast took place inside a courier office located in Maliwada area in Ahmednagar at 10 pm on Tuesday. According to Ahmednagar police, the blast was caused by an explosive hidden inside a portable radio which was meant to be delivered to Pune-based social activist Sanjay Nahar. Founder of the NGO ‘Sarhad’, Nahar has undertaken humanitarian work for Kashmiri children over the decades.

The explosive detonated after some staffers from Maruti Courier Services opened the parcel out of curiosity at around 10 pm on Tuesday and plugged it into the power socket.

The police are investigating why the employees opened the packed parcel.

Sanjay Kshirsagar, was the first employee who, out of curiosity, plugged in the device, after he heard some sound and buzz from the packed box.

No sooner was the radio plugged in, it detonated, injuring him seriously. Another employee Sandip Bhujbal, who was present at the spot, sustained injuries but was discharged after being administered first aid from Anand Rushi Hospital.

A squad from Nashik’s forensic science laboratory and Nashik ATS officials reached the spot soon after the blast. The ATS Mumbai office is coordinating the probe under the State Director General of Police.

VK Chaubey, inspector general, Nashik division, said, “Prima facie it looks like it was a crude bomb, but we are awaiting the forensic reports. From the spot, an iron pipe with white coloured powder was found along with an extension board made out of fibre material. Also, some parts of a switch circuit and wires were also recovered from the spot.” He said investigations were on to ascertain the motive behind the terror act.

Ahmednagar police said the courier package included a handwritten note in the name of a former student of Nahar thanking him for the help extended during her times of distress.

“Sanjay Sir, I am Nagma Sheikh, a student of your Sarhad College. Today, because of you, I am standing on my own feet and earning well. I used to live in Pune and now stay in Ahmednagar. You had arranged for my living and studies when I couldn’t afford it. I am really grateful to you. I am sending you a gift in my recorded voice. The device I am sending does not have inbuilt battery, charge it to use it. Good Bye,” the note read.

According to Ahmednagar superintendent of police, Rajankumar Sharma, the courier package contained a medium-sized radio consisting of a speaker and a pipe with some white powder.

In Pune, the Bharati Vidyapeeth police told Hindustan Times that they have recorded Nahar’s statements in connection with the blast. “We had called Sanjay Nahar on Wednesday and he has recorded his statement. We would be coordinating the probe with the Ahmednagar police and security agencies if required,” said Kamlakar Takawle, police inspector, Bharati Vidyapeeth police station.

The police have formed ten crack teams to investigate the case. One of the teams has been sent to Nahar’s office in Pune to carry out further investigations into the case.

An FIR was lodged by Sanjay Kshirsagar with the police under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 308, 337, 338, 440, 427 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3 and 4 of the Indian Explosive Substances Act with the Kotwali police station, Ahmednagar against unidentified people.

The police have obtained a sketch of the person who had come to deliver the courier in the name of Sanjay Nahar.

I was threatened a few days ago: Nahar

Sarhad founder Sanjay Nahar told journalists in Pune that he had been threatened over the phone a few days ago by some unknown persons who forced him to not involve himself in Kashmir-related issues anymore.

“I had been receiving such threats ever since I started my NGO but never took them seriously. This time, they have gone to the extreme and I will have to think seriously ,” he said.

Replying to a question, Nahar said it was impossible that a former student of his, would try to harm him in any way. “I don’t think my students from Kashmir would ever want to harm me in any way as they love me a lot. This is the brainchild of some forces who don’t want peace in the region and disrupt our harmony there. This would strengthen my resolve against these cowardly people who stab in the back with no courage to come in front,” Nahar said.

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 22:29 IST