Monday, May 3, 2010

MALEGAON BLAST CASE - Maha ATS team to grill Ajmer blast suspects

Mateen Hafeez | TNN

A Maharashtra ATS team has left for Rajasthan to interrogate the three right-wing suspects caught for their alleged role in the 2007 Ajmer shrine blast. The ATS is probing the links between the arrested trio—Devendra Gupta, Chandra Shekhar and Vishnu Prasad—and Abhinav Bharat members held in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blast. Gupta is said to be a RSS member.

According to the Rajasthan ATS, the trio used a mobile phone to trigger a bomb at the 800-year-old shrine in Ajmer on October 11, 2007. Initially, the Ajmer police had claimed that Bangladesh’s banned outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI) was behind the blast.

Maharashtra textile and minority affairs minister Arif Naseem Khan said, “I have spoken to the ATS chief Rakesh

Maria and he is sending his teams to question the suspects in Ajmer. The suspects could have links with Abhinav Bharat members, 11 of whom are lodged in our jails.’’ Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit are among those arrested for their alleged roles in the Malegaon blast.

The Maharashtra ATS had submitted a video CD in which Lt Col Prasad Purohit can allegedly be seen saying that his group had executed two more operations in the country. Sleuths believe that Purohit was referring to the blasts in Ajmer shrine and Hyderabad’s Mecca mosque. “The Hyderabad police had announced the name of HuJI man as a suspect in the Mecca mosque blast. It was for this reason that other security agencies kept quiet on Purohit’s role in the Hyderabad blast,’’ said a source in the ATS.

The Times of India, May 3, 2010

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