Maha ATS to question `Swami Asimanand` for Malegaon blasts

Seven people were killed in a bomb blast in September 29, 2008, at Malegaon.

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is preparing to question Swami Asimanand, who was arrested on Friday in connection with Mecca Masjid blast in
Hyderabad, suspecting his involvement in 2008 Malegaon blast, an ATS official said today.

"Our probe in the Malegaon blast case is not yet over. Though the chargesheet in Malegaon blast case nowhere mentions the role of Asimanand, his involvement in it cannot be ruled out. Since the probe is still on, we are trying to ascertain
if he had any role in the blast," a senior ATS official said on condition of anonymity.

"We will question him in connection with the blast once Hyderabad police take his custody in their case," the officer added.

Seven people were killed in a bomb blast in September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nashik district of north Maharashtra.

Asimanand is considered an ideologue of right wing group Abhinav Bharat, an organisation alleged to be behind the Malegaon blast.

"During interrogation of one of the 11 arrested accused in Malegaon case, his name surfaced. However, nothing substantial had been established to link him with the blast
earlier and our attempt to question him had also failed as he could not be traced," the official said.

"But after the blast, we learnt that Asimanand was in touch with Ramji Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, two of the three wanted accused in the case," the official said.

He said in fact, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a key accused arrested in the Malegaon case, was very close to Asimanand but she never uttered his name during
interrogation," the official said.

Asimanand had spearheaded the drive to reconvert Hindus who had embraced Christianity in Gujarat`s Dang district in 1998, the official said.


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