CBI to take custody of Asseemanand in Malegaon 2006 probe

CBI is mulling taking Aseemanand into custody in connection with its probe in the Malegaon blasts case after it questioned some of the accused belonging to a right wing outfit arrested for allegedly planting bombs in Malegaon.

Updated: Feb 23, 2011, 01:00 AM IST

Mumbai: CBI is mulling taking Swami
Aseemanand into custody in connection with its probe in the
2006 Malegaon blasts case after the agency questioned some of
the accused belonging to a right wing outfit arrested for
allegedly planting bombs in Malegaon in 2008.

Highly-placed CBI sources said today preliminary
questioning of accused including Sadhvi Pragya and sacked Army
colonel S P Purohit, Dayanand Pandey, Praveen Mutalik and
Rakesh Dhawde awas done fter seeking the requisite persmission
from the court as they were in judicial custody in connection
with the Malegaon blasts of 2008.
They said custodial interrogation of Swami Aseemanand was
required in the case and that his custody would be taken soon
in this case from Panchkula court, where he was produced by
the NIA for their investigations in the Samjhauta blasts.

Senior officials of the agency, requesting anonymity,
said the custodial questioning of Aseemanand was necessitated
by the turn of events as the Malegaon 2008 accused were
stonewalling the probe and denying their role in the blasts.
Asseemanand, who was recently arrested by CBI, has
stated in his confessional statement before a magistrate that
the Malegaon blast of 2006 was masterminded by Hindu group
Abhinav Bharat and that a muslim youth arrested in the case
had brought about a change in his heart which led him to spill
the beans.

Assemanand, alias Jatin Chatterjee, had alleged in his
statement that RSS activists had murdered worker Sunil Joshi,
who along with others was responsible for Malegaon 2006
blasts.

This statement of Asseemanand led the investigators to
the terror trail leading to Hindu right-wing groups in 2006
bombings in Maharashtra`s powerloom town that left 35
people dead.

Besides Thakur, Purohit, Mutalik, Dhawdekar and Pandey,
the CBI will also question Ajay Rahirkar, Shivnarayan
Kalsangra,Shyam Sahu, retired army official Ramesh Upadhyay,
Sameer Kulkarni, Jagdish Mhatre and Sudhakar Chaturvedi in the
case, the sources said.

All of them were arrested by Maharashtra ATS for
allegedly carrying out blasts at Malegaon on September 29,
2008 that left six dead and several others injured.

These arrests had given a new direction to the probes
into the terror acts in the country with the suspected role of
Hindu extremist groups being brought to fore by Joint
Commissioner of Police Hemant Karkare who was killed in the
Mumbai attacks.

The sources said a CBI team led by a Joint Director
camped in Malegaon and will examine all forensic evidence that
had been collected by the ATS, which was led by the then Joint
Commissioner K P Raghuvanshi and his Deputy Inspector General
Subodh Jaiswal.

PTI