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NIA charges 11 Sanatan Sanstha men in Goa blast

The NIA on Monday issued charge sheets to 11 Sanatan Sanstha members in the Goa blast case.



Panaji: The National Investigation Agency
(NIA) on Monday issued charge sheets to 11 Sanatan Sanstha members in the Goa blast case that claimed two lives but did not
directly indict the right-wing group for the crime in which
the accused have been charged with waging war against India.

In the charge sheet filed before the district court in
Margao town about five-and-a-half months after it took over
the probe from Goa Police, the NIA said that the conspiracy
was hatched at the Sanstha`s ashram in Ramnathi village, about
40 km from here.

It said the crime was plotted by the main accused
Malgonda Patil and Dhananjay Ashtekar last June in a room at
the ashram just a few metres away from the one occupied by its
founder Jayant Athavale.

Though the charge sheet did not directly blame the
Sanstha for the crime, it said all the accused were activists
of the right-wing Hindu organisation.

Those issued charge sheets include Malgonda Patil and
Yogesh Naik, who were killed when the bomb went off
accidentally at Margao, about 35 km from here before it could
be planted. The charges included criminal conspiracy.

The 3,000-odd page charge sheet has accused four
persons -- who are under arrest -- and five other absconding
men in connection with the explosion.

The accused have been charged under sections 121 (A),
122, 123, 427 of Indian Penal Code read with 16, 17, 18, 23 of
unlawful activities (prevention) act and 3,4 and 5 of
Explosive Substance Act. Criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B)
and waging war against India (Section 121) were among other
offences covered under these provisions.

The incident had occurred on Diwali-eve on October 16
in a busy thoroughfare in Margao barely a few hundred metres
from a place where Chief Minister Digamber Kamat was present
in the midst of celebrations.

The court will examine 250 witnesses in the case.

Initially the Special Investigation Team of Goa Police
handled the probe, which was taken over by the NIA on November
five after it emerged that the conspiracy behind the blasts
had its trail in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa.

The charge sheet has named Vinay Talekar, Vinayak
Patil, Dhananjay Ashtekar and Dilip Mangaonkar, all of whom
are currently in jail, besides Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik,
who were killed when explosives went off on a scooter before
they could plant it at a designated place.

The absconding accused are Prashant Juvekar, Sarang
Akolkar, Jayaprakash alias Anna, Rudra Patil and Prashant
Ashtekar.

NIA investigations have revealed that Dhananjay
Ashtekar prepared 12 circuits of the explosives in Pune of
which five were brought to Goa in August 2009.

The test IED was prepared with the help of gelatin
sticks and exploded in the jungles adjoining Talaulim village
on August 24-25, 2009 behind the house of Laxmikant Naik,
brother of deceased accused Yogesh Naik.

The investigators, according to the charge sheet,
have found that during the explosion Malgonda Patil, Yogesh
Naik, Vinay Talekar, Dhananjay Ashtekar, Prashant Juvekar,
Sarang Kulkarni, Jayaprakash and one more person were present.

The charge sheet mentions that Dilip Maganokar was
active in the conspiracy and unexploded material was found in
his possession.

PTI

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