Himani Savarkar,president of the radical Hindu outfit Abhinav Bharat,said she never gave a statement to the state ATS that she was aware of the Malegaon conspiracy. She said this a day after it came out from the chargesheet filed by the Maharashtra ATS that in her statement Savarkar said Malegaon location was decided by Lt Col Purohit during a meeting that she attended.
Police Inspector Peter Lobo of Pune ATS unit said Savarkar was interrogated by his team. Lobo also confirmed that the Mumbai ATS unit did not interrogate her. Whatever is there in the chargesheet is true, Lobo said.
On Thursday,Savarkar told The Indian Express: I admitted that I was present during the Abhinav Bharat meeting at Bhopal in April 2008. But I never said Purohit discussed Malegaon location.
The Bhopal meeting was an aam sabha of Abhinav Bharat,in which Sadhvi Pragya,Shankarachraya,Assemanandji,Sameer Kulkarni and some local activists were present. I was present for another Abhinav Bharat aam sabha at Jabalpur sometime in June-July 2008, she said,adding,Purohit was not present at these meetings. We only discussed topics like Hindu nationalism and the need for organising and strengthening the Hindus.
The state ATS had filed a nearly 4,000-page chargesheet in the Malegaon blast case on January 20. According to the chargesheet (Page number 669 to 672,witness number 118),Sameer Kulkarni invited Savarkar as chairperson for a meeting of Abhinav Bharat in Bhopal in April 2008. The chargesheet says Savarkar said about 100-150 persons attended the meeting in a Ram temple,of which she knew only Kulkarni.
The chargesheet further adds: Savarkar also stated that after the meeting was over,Lt Col Prasad Purohit addressed a closed-door meeting in a room on the first floor of the Ram temple,where he said,There is a huge population of Muslims in Malegaon. If something is done in Malegaon,it would be like taking a revenge of the atrocities against the Hindus. And that Sadhvi Pragya told Purohit she had the manpower to do this. According to the ATS chargesheet,at this point Savarkar opposed this and walked out of the meeting.
Savarkars statement in the chargesheet says she believes none of the Abhinav Bharat members are involved in the Malegaon blast. She admits to knowing Pande,Sadhvi Pragya,but denies any links with Rakesh Dhavade,Ajay Rahirkar,Jagdish Mhatre,Sham Apte,Sharad Kunte and Col Shailesh Raikar.