Goa blast: Two killed, Hindu group blamed

Last Updated: Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 17:09

Panaji: Four persons belonging to a right-wing Hindu group linked to Malegaon blast accused sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur were detained today in connection with the explosion in Goa`s Margao town in which two members of the outfit were killed.

Police were probing the links of right-wing group
Sanatan Sanstha with the blast that took place at 9.30 last
night when explosives kept in a scooter went off on a busy
street in Margao, 30 km from here.

Home Minister Ravi Naik said the explosives may have
got triggered before being planted at a designated spot.

"They wanted to disturb a traditional Diwali-eve event
`Narakasur` effigy competition in the heart of the town as the
blast took place only a few metres away from the competition
venue," he said.

A person named Melgunda Patil, hailing from
Maharashtra, was killed in the blast while another, Yogesh
Naik, succumbed to his injuries this morning, Naik said.

Police raided Sanatan Sanstha headquarters at Ramnathi
in Ponda town, 20 km from Margao, following the blast and four
persons owing allegiance to the Sanstha were detained for
questioning, SP Bosco George said.

Two of the detained persons have been identified as
Suresh Naik, brother of Yogesh Naik, and Virendra Marathe,
manager of the ashram where the activities of the Sanstha are
run.

Suresh Naik was the owner of the scooter in which the
explosives were kept. He had bought the vehicle from the
Sanstha`s disciple Nishad Bakle four years ago," the SP said.

Meanwhile, the Sanstha denied the allegations against
it terming them as "baseless".

"Based on searches conducted at the ashram in
Ramnathi, the institution is being portrayed as an accused in
Margao blast. Media should not jump the gun and should wait
for proper judicial process to get over," it said in a
statement.

"Sanatan will never encourage or support such
activities in its ashram. The disciples have cooperated with
the police during their search of the ashram on October 16 and
will continue helping police in their job," it said.

Within half an hour of yesterday`s explosion, bomb
disposal squad detected and defused another bomb with an
electric circuit, a clock, four gelatin sticks and a detonator
at Sancoale, 20 km from the blast site.

"We have recovered mobile and other gadgets from the
place where both of the Sanstha activists were staying," Naik
said, adding when the ashram was raided at Ramnathi last
night, there were 250 people present in it, some from
Maharashtra.

"We don`t know how many people are involved but we are
investigating all the people in detail," Naik said.
Terming the incident "very serious", he said he has
asked police to investigate without any "political
interference".

"There is every possibility of a political
interference in the case. I have asked police to do their job
as an independent authority," he said, refusing to elaborate
on the issue of "political interference".

Some Hindu right-wing groups came under scanner in
Maharashtra after sadhvi Pragya, Lt Col S P Purohit and
several other activists were arrested in connection with the
Malegaon blast of September 2008.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 17:09

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