Zee Media Bureau
Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday filed a chargesheet in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case and named four accused, but importantly did not mention the names of Swami Aseemanand and former Lt Col Srikant Purohit.
The development comes as a reprieve for the RSS which had come under attack after Swami Aseemanand and Col Purohit were named as accused in the case. Both had links to the Hindu organisation.
The four accused named in the chargesheet include Lokesh Sharma, Dhan Singh, Manohar Singh and Rajendra Choudhary.
The chargesheet, running into five volumes, was filed in a Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (Mcoca) Court of Special Judge Prithviraj Chavan.
Ramji Kalsangra has been shown as absconding accused in the chargesheet.
Sadhvi Pragya Singh and Col Purohit were also arrested in connection with the attack.
The NIA chargesheet shows the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in poor light as the latter had blamed members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for the attack.
The blasts that rocked Malegaon on September 8, 2006, at the time when people had gathered to observe the Shab-e-Baraat, had claimed 37 lives while leaving nearly 300 others injured.
After the blasts, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had arrested nine suspects. However, the MCOCA court had granted bail to all of them in November 2012.
The probe into the blast was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation which endorsed the ATS findings. The case then went to the NIA, which came into existence in 2009.
With PTI inputs