Production warrant issued for Samjhauta accused
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012, 20:43
Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was on Thursday given a production warrant for producing Lokesh Sharma, an accused in Samjhauta train and Ajmer blasts, before the court in connection with his alleged role in Malegaon 2008 blasts.

The NIA moved an application before designated MCOCA judge Y D Shinde requesting for questioning of Sharma. After hearing the arguments, the court gave a production warrant to the central probe agency to produce the accused before it.

Once the accused is brought before the court, the NIA would make a plea for taking him for custodial interrogation in connection with the September 29, 2008, Malegaon blast in which six people were killed.

The NIA has been given charge of all saffron terror cases which included Malegaon 2006 and 2008, Ajmer (Rajasthan), Mecca-Masjid (Hyderabad) and Samjhauta train blasts.

The production warrant for Sharma, at present lodged in Ajmer Central jail, came as a relief for NIA as they had failed to take his custody from a Panchkula court in Haryana yesterday.

Sharma, a close associate of Sunil Joshi (the suspected 'mastermind' behind the blasts who was later murdered), allegedly planted a bomb on Samjhauta Express.

The Indore resident's name has cropped up in the Ajmer blasts and Mecca Masjid blasts of Hyderabad and he was arrested on June 17, 2010 for the Ajmer blasts and on June 18, 2011 for Samjhauta blasts.

Malegaon 2008 case was a turning point in the terror history of the country as the role of saffron brigade behind the blasts came to fore.

The then ATS chief Hemant Karkare of Maharashtra Police, who was brutally killed in 26/11 blasts, blew the lid off the conspiracy and arrested the conspirators including a serving Lt Col of the Indian Army Prasad Shrikant Purohit.

ATS under his leadership had been able to arrest sadhvi Pragya Singh alias Swami Purnachetanandgiri (key conspirator as her bike was used in the blast), Shivnarayan Gopalsingh Kalsangra (electrician from Indore, assembled the bomb), Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu (owns mobile servicing centre at Bhopal).

Besides Purohit, others accused in the charge sheet were Maj (retd) Ramesh Shivji Upadhyaya (Pune resident, accused to imparting training and taught bomb making), Sameer Sharad Kulkarni alias Chanakya Sameer (helped procure material for making the bomb), Ajay alias Raja Rahirkar (Pune-based treasurer of Abhinav Bharat) and Rakesh Dattatreya Dhawade (Pune-based weapons expert, helped procure weapons).

Jagdish Chintaman Mhatre (helped store weapons), Sudhakar Udaybhan Dhar Dwivedi alias Dayanand Pandey alias Swami Amrutanand Devtirth (self-proclaimed Shankaracharya, resident of Jammu and Kashmir and a key conspirator), Sudhakar Onkarnath Chaturvedi (weapons were found from him, was part of planning) and Pravin Mutalik (planted bomb).

The case, which was transferred to NIA, has two proclaimed offenders Ramji alias Ramchandra Kalsangra (bomb planter) and Sandeep Dange (bomb planter).


First Published: Thursday, February 23, 2012, 20:43

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