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Malegaon blasts: Ex-armyman and associate sent to police custody

Mumbai, Wed, 29 Oct 2008 NI Wire

Ex-army man Ramesh Upadhyay and a Bhopal printing press employee Sameer Kulkarni have been sent to police custody by Nashik sessions court today till November 10. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), which is investigating the Malegaon blasts case had sought their remand to go deeper into case.

The duo—Upadhyay and Kulkarni were arrested on Tuesday from Pune and Jabalpur respectively in connection with Malegaon blasts that killed six persons on September 29. The duo has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Act.

As per the sources, the Mumbai Police ATS has also sought permission from the military to question a serving armyman, posted at Panchmarhi in Madhya Pradesh, in the same case.

Upadhyay, as said by ATS, who served in the intelligence wing of the army, now-a-days, was working as the president of Abhinav Bharat, a pro-Hindu organisation in Pune. He was the person who trained sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and her two associates, detained in the same case last week, in the art of bomb making.

His name cropped up during interrogation of Pragya Singh and his two associates. When he was inquired, he could not give satisfactory answers, said an ATS official.

Sameer Kulkarni, an associate, was involved with Abhinav Bharat. The organisation run a website that advocated a sashastra (armed) India. The website through its constitution preaches the proactive and aggressive nationalism instead of Hindu tolerance. After their detention the website that was founded on June 12, 2006 was shut down on Sunday.

Kulkarni, as per the sources, was a clever and active VHP activist. He came to Bhopal from Maharashtra two years ago and established Abhinav Bharat Sansthan, a social institution, which he used to raise Hindutva issue.

Meanwhile on Monday, a Nashik court had granted permission to Maharashtra ATS to conduct lie-detector test on Pragya Singh Thakur.

The ATS had arrested suspects- Pragya Singh Thakur from Surat, and Shivnarain Kalsaangra and Shyam Sahu from Indore on October 24 in the same Malegaon blats case. Their alleged relation to Hindu right wing organisations led the Congress and Left to create uproar in the Parliament. Left and Congress were demanding ban on organisation involved in bomb blasts.

Read More: Surat | Nashik

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