One more accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Sameer Kulkarni, was granted bail by a special court on Wednesday on a surety of Rs 50,000. With this, seven of the eight accused in the case have been granted bail since the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed its charge sheet in the case in 2016.
Kulkarni, who argued his bail plea himself, sought bail on the grounds of parity since all the other accused, except Rakesh Dhawde, have already been granted bail. He claimed that there was no evidence against him and that he had been falsely implicated. He further submitted that he has been behind bars for nearly nine years without the trial commencing.
The NIA had opposed the bail plea. The NIA charge sheet, which described Kulkarni as a social worker, said he was part of various meetings along with the other accused, including one held in Faridabad where the formation of a ‘Hindu government’ at the Centre was allegedly discussed.
The NIA had claimed that Kulkarni had discussed “about taking revenge for the atrocities committed by the Muslims on Hindus”. The NIA had also claimed that after the arrest of Pragya Singh Thakur on October 24, 2008, accused Prasad Purohit had sent a text to Kulkarni saying that the ATS had entered his house in Pune.
Purohit then allegedly directed him to delete his numbers from his phone. According to the NIA, this proved Kulkarni’s complicity in the case.