Posted by: informer | December 27, 2008

In the Malegaon net

Mumbai: It’s been a month since their chief Hemant Karkare was killed in the Mumbai attacks. A month in which the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has busied itself in trying to build a strong case against the accused in the Malegaon blast.

As the backbone of the investigation team, Karkare’s death has hit them hard, but officials say they are pursuing the case with added vigour.

While the search for those who planted the bomb continues, Parambir Singh, Additional Commissioner of Police, ATS, said the case is “building up”, adding that they have “collected strong evidence, both physical and technical. The witness statements also are strengthening our case and we are building a chargesheet.”

According to public prosecutor, Rohini Salian, “On the outer side, we have 180 days to file the chargesheet, but the team wants to give a fitting tribute to its boss and is trying its best to finish it in 90 days. Every evidence, backed with witness statement, is proving to help in understanding the level of involvement in the conspiracy of each of the accused. Everyone has participated at some level.”
At present, there are 11 accused in custody, including a sadhvi, a serving Army official and a godman. The case, at this stage, has some crucial evidence including the bike belonging to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur which was found at the blast site, witness statements of those who have allegedly seen the accused at various conspiracy meetings.

•Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur (38)

Picked up from Surat, arrested on October 24; now in judicial custody.

Alleged to have attended conspiray meetings, her LML Freedom bike was found at the blast site. After the blasts, she was in a house in Ujjain with Ramji Kalsangra, alleged to have planted the bombs, discussing how to answer investigating officials if questioned about the bike.

•Shivnarayan Kalsangra (36)

Picked up from Indore, arrested on October 24; now in judicial custody.

He is reported to be related to Ramji, who is still absconding. The ATS sought his remand to get details of his meetings with Ramji.

•Shyam Sahu (42)

Picked up from Indore, arrested on October 24; now in judicial custody.

The ATS has a recorded telephone conversation between him and Pragya that occurred immediately after the blast. Because of the MCOCA charges, this can now be a part of the chargesheet.

•Ramesh Upadhyay (58)

Retired Major, picked up from Pune, arrested on October 29; now in judicial custody.

The working president for Pune-based Abhinav Bharat, the ATS claims Upadhyay participated in conspiracy meetings and was also instrumental in offering logistical help through his transport business. He is known to have been moved between states, and is reported to have a close association with Pragya.

•Sameer Kulkarni (39)

Picked up from Bhopal, arrested on October 29; now in judicial custody.

The media publicist for the Bhopal branch of Abhinav Bharat, Kulkarni is alleged to have spilled the beans on the involvement of a serving officer, and also reported to be involved in financial transactions. An SMS sent by the serving officer immediately after the blast asked him to spread out and escape.

•Ajay Rahirkar (39)

Picked up from Pune, arrested on November 3; now in judicial custody.

The treasurer for Abhinav Bharat, he is alleged to have managed the finances and also given money to source weapons. A a 9 mm revolver, and 196 live cartridges were recovered from his Pune residence.

•Rakesh Dhawade (42)

Picked up from Pune, arrested on November 3; now in judicial custody.

An antique arms collector, he is alleged to have arranged training and logistics for some of the accused in the earlier four Terror blasts. His association with the Abhinav Bharat members was established through evidence in court.

•Jagdish Mhatre (40)

Picked up from Mumbai, arrested on November 3; now in judicial custody.

The ATS recovered two imported firearms with 15 live cartridges from Dombivali resident Mhatre. He is alleged to have taken cash for procuring weapons from Dhawade.

•Lt Col Prasad Purohit (36)

Was sent from Pachmarhi to Mumbai by the Army, arrested on November 5; now in judicial custody.

ATS alleges that “he played a key role” in the conspiracy, was one of the founder members of Abhinav Bharat and sourced the RDX for the blast. He is reported to be a close associate of Pragya, Kulkarni, Updhyay and Rahirkar. He is alleged to have sourced weapons using fake documents.

•Dayanand Pandey

Picked up from Kanpur, arrested on November 14; now in judicial custody.

Pandey, a self styled priest, is accused of having attended meetings held in Bhopal, Pune and Faridabad and even Kashmir prior to the September 29 Malegaon blast, and also played a key role in making the bomb. He is alleged to have used the issue of atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits to indoctrinate the group.

•Sudhakar Chaturvedi (37)

Was arrested by the local police from Matunga on November 4, and was taken by ATS on December 3.

An active Abhinav Bharat member, he is reported to have attended some important meetings with the other accused. Was helped by Purohit to procure a fake identity card for the artillery unit at Nashik. He has also said Purohit gave him a revolver.

source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/in-the-malegaon-net/403379/1

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