Monday, November 14, 2011

RTI: ATS cop sent money to Malegaon blast accused

Mateen Hafeez TNN

A police constable attached to the Nashik unit of the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) had sent money on three occasions to one of the accused in the 2006 Malegaon bomb blasts in Byculla jail, a RTI query showed. The blast accused, Abrar Ahmed, had turned approver when he received the money but later turned hostile.
Gulzar Azmi, general secretary (legal cell), Jamiat-ul-Ulema, a socio-religious organization, had filed the RTI. In their reply, Byculla jail authorities said that constable Sadashiv Abhimanyu Patil had sent Rs 1,000 each three times between August and November 2008. The trial concerning the blasts that killed 31 people is underway in court.

The Byculla jail authorities in their reply mentioned Patil’s address as 14/501, police headquarters, Gangapur Road, Nashik, from where the money order was sent to the blast accused. Patil disconnected the telephone line when this correspondent disclosed his identity.

Ahmed’s bro complained to court about constable
The state antiterrorism squad’s Nashik unit had investigated the Malegaon blasts case initially and submitted a chargesheet against nine accused. A CBI team which took over the probe also endorsed the ATS findings.

Following petitions by Malegaon residents, another CBI team began the probe afresh and indicated that those arrested may not be involved. By then the National Investigating Agency (NIA) took over and recently told the court that it has no objection in granting them bail.

The court ordered their release on November 5 once they fulfilled the bail conditions. Abrar Ahmed, now 42, had mysteriously disappeared after the September 8, 2006 bomb blasts outside a mosque and in a residential area. Four bombs, made of RDX, were planted on bicycles in Malegaon. After his disappearance, Ahmed’s elder brother, advocate Jaleel Ansari, filed a habeas corpus plea in the special MCOCA court. On the court’s order, the Nashik police produced Ahmed before the court in December 2006. Ahmed, who owned a battery and inverter shop, is accused of conspiracy, assembling and planting the bombs.

Abrar, in an affidavit, in 2009, alleged that he was offered lakhs of rupees to become an approver. “As family members, Ahmed’s relatives would send money to him through money order. But why was a constable, attached to the ATS sending money? For the ATS Ahmed was a terror suspect, so why would the police send money to a man who has been termed as a conspirator, a bomb maker and a planter? A thorough inquiry should be done in this matter to find out who exactly was behind this?” said Azmi, the RTI applicant.

The then ATS chief, K P Raghuvanshi, said he wasn’t aware of the development.
Advocate Ansari said he had earlier complained to the court about Patil. “This constable would come to meet my brother in jail. After Ahmed turned hostile, Patil met him in jail and threatened him with dire consequences.”
He added, “After I complained to the court, an inquiry was set up and the jail authorities were instructed not to allow Patil to meet Ahmed,” said Ansari.
A senior police officer said he was not aware about the outcome of this inquiry.

The Times of India, November 14, 2011

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