AN ACCUSED in the Malegaon 2008 blast case, currently lodged in Taloja central jail, has written to the Nashik police commissioner seeking an FIR against ATS officer Shekhar Bagade for allegedly entering his house illegally. Sudhakar Chaturvedi has written the letter from the prison on May 15. In the letter, Chaturvedi stated that in 2008, he was a resident of Deolali in Nashik and was a social activist. He said that on October 23, 2008, he was at his residence when he received a call from Bagade who asked him to meet him at a petrol pump near his house. He claimed that he was taken away forcefully by Bagade and others to an unknown place. He alleged that the men seized his motorcycle, driving licence and identity cards.
He further alleged that he was brought to the ATS office in Mumbai where he was assaulted. He said he was kept in illegal custody till November 4 before being taken back to his home in Deolali for further seizures.
The letter claims, “The NIA, in its chargesheet, has made serious allegations against the ATS. One of the witnesses examined by the NIA has said that he had visited my home in Deolali on November 3, 2008 and found the door of my room open. He further said that he saw API Bagade doing something inside. I have a suspicion that he was planting RDX which the ATS later claimed to have found in my house. I, therefore, seek an FIR against Bagade and other ATS officers at Deolali police station.”
The NIA filed its chargesheet in May 2016 which includes the statement of the witness who was re-examined. The NIA, while continuing to state that there was enough evidence to prosecute Chaturvedi, claimed that the recovery made by the ATS is ‘suspect’. The ATS, however, had earlier refuted the claim stating that the recovery was made in presence of panch witnesses and officials of the Forensic Science Laboratory, Mumbai, whom the NIA had not examined, the ATS had said.
Nashik commissioner of police Ravindra Singal, however, said he had not yet received the letter. “Even if the letter is sent to the Nashik police, since the case is being investigated by the NIA, it is the right agency to probe the allegations,” he said.