The families of Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalsangra, two main accused in the Malegaon blast case who are wanted by the NIA, are worried after suspended Maharashtra police officer Mahiboob Mujawar claimed that they were killed by the anti-terror squad. The NIA has decided to probe Mujawar’s claim.
“Ever since we heard it, the entire family is in shock. We want a high-level probe into the matter. We want to know the truth. If my father was indeed killed, ATS officials responsible for his murder should be punished,” Kalsangara’s son Devbrat told The Indian Express. The 22-year-old said he last saw his father in 2008. He added that Mujawar was associated with the probe and his claim can’t be dismissed.
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“I don’t know whether to call myself a suhagan or a widow,” said Kalsangara’s wife Laxmi. “If he is dead, we want the body. If he was murdered, the killers should be hanged,” she said.
Retired professor V K Dange, the 80-year-old father of Sandeep who lives alone in Indore, said: “I have been repeatedly questioned and harassed by ATS teams from Maharashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan. Mujawar’s allegations must be probed and the trial into the blast conducted by a fast-track court. The delay in trial is a kind of punishment.”
Shyam Sahu, one of the accused in the case, said Mujawar’s claim could well be true. “I was tortured in ATS custody. They would often take me to an isolated place, put a gun to my head and pressure me to name someone big. I would feel that was the last day of my life. Maine pal pal maut dekhi hai,” the 50-year-old said. Sahu was released on bail after he spent three years in jail. He claimed that ATS officers offered to let him go if he named some influential leaders. “I was made an accused because I refused to implicate others,” said Sahu who ran a mobile shop in Indore. He said that though he was out on bail for five years, he has not been able to re-establish his business again.
Incidentally, Sahu contested the Indore Municipal Corporation election in January 2014 as an Independent candidate after the BJP denied him a ticket. He claimed that he is innocent and that he was made an accused only because he was associated with Sadhvi Pragya Singh, who is in jail.
Mujawar’s claim comes after two ATS officials were granted bail in connection with the disappearance of Dilip Patidar, an electrician, who was picked up from Indore in 2008 by a team of Maharashtra ATS for questioning.
The 29-year-old never returned with ATS claiming that it let him go after a week. Patidar’s family had filed a habeas corpus petition before the Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court. The court asked CBI to probe the matter. After suggesting that Patidar could be dead, the CBI filed a closure report saying there was no evidence.
The special CBI court rejected the closure report and after going through case diaries ordered the arrest of ATS inspector Rajendra Sopanrao Dhule and sub-insepctor Ramesh Hanumantrao More. The two officials were granted bail a few weeks ago.