Panaji: The four Sanatan Sanstha (SS) members accused of carrying out the 2009 Diwali-eve blast in Goa were for the first time Tuesday reffered to as "terrorists" by the state home department.
State Home Minister Ravi Naik said in a written reply to the legislative assembly: "In the year 2009/10, four terrorists have been arrested by Goa Police in bomb blast incidents, which took place at Margao and Verna, respectively, on the night of Diwali i.e. on 16/10/2010."
A local court has framed charges against the four members namely Vinay Talekar, Vinayak Patil, Dhananjay Ashtekar and Dilip Mangaonkar.
Five other accused, also members of the SS, are still absconding, according to police.
The accused have been framed under penal provisions dealing with waging war against the government, collecting arms and mischief.
Charges have also been ordered to be framed under various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Explosive Substances Act.
Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik, the two SS members who were ferrying detonator-rigged gelatin sticks to a crowded place on Diwali eve, died when the explosive contraption they were carrying exploded accidentally in Margao town in south Goa, 35 km from here.
Luckily, another improvised explosive device (IED) placed in a pick up van near Verna, 25 km from here, did not explode.
Nearly 250 witnesses were examined by police in the course of the investigations, which were taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), after being initially handled by Goa Police.