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Ex-army officer Upadhyay alleges torture by ATS

National, Thu, 30 Oct 2008 IANS

Nashik, Oct 29 (IANS) Retired army officer Ramesh Upadhyay of Pune, an accused in the Sep 29 Malegaon bomb blast case, Wednesday charged the Maharashtra Police's Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) interrogators of physically torturing him.


'The marks of ATS beating are still fresh on my body,' Upadhyay told the Chief Judicial Magistrate's court here Wednesday when he was produced there by ATS officers seeking his police remand.



Strongly opposing Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Misar's plea for his remand, Upadhyay said the ATS sleuths have already grilled and tortured him enough without unearthing any evidence against him.



Telling the court that he was a heart patient and could not survive without medication for single day, Upadhyay demanded that a thorough medical examination be conducted on him.



Offering himself for a narco test or any other scientific investigation and assuring the ATS full cooperation in their enquiry, Upadhyay claimed to hold high status and esteem in civil society as an ex-army officer.



'I am a proud ex-serviceman, a responsible citizen and a hardcore patriot; I have never indulged in or aided any terrorist activity. Such dirty allegations and police custody is the last thing I deserve,' Upadhyay said in his had-hitting self-defence.



The ATS had Saturday detained Sameer Kulkarni and retired major Ramesh Upadhyay from Pune. They were interrogated under detention and finally placed under arrest Tuesday evening.



Among other things, the ATS has said that the two men were involved in imparting training to some activists of the right-wing Hindu Janjagriti Samiti (HJS).



Last week, three people, including a sadhvi (woman missionary), were arrested from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in connection with the bomb blast in Malegaon, a town that has a strong concentration of Muslims, which left five people dead.



The sadhvi - Pragnya Singh Thakur - and her associates Shamlal Sahu and Shivnarain Singh are in police custody till Nov 3.


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