RAKESH DHAWDE, accused in the Malegaon 2008 blasts case, has been acquitted in a bomb blast case in Parbhani.
Two were killed and 31 persons were injured when some youths hurled crude bombs at a mosque in Parbhani in Marathwada on November 21, 2003.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested Dhawde in 2008 after the Malegaon blasts.
The ATS filed a chargesheet against Dhawde for the Parbhani blast and for another blast in Jalna which occurred on August 27, 2004.
Using these two previous incidents, the ATS had invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime (MCOC) Act against all the accused in the Malegaon 2008 blast.
Dhawde was previously acquitted in the Jalna case and on Thursday was given a clean chit in the Parbhani blast along with three other accused.
The National Investigation Agency, which took over the probe from the ATS, has said in its chargesheet filed in May, that the “chargesheets (against Dhawde in the Jalna and Parbhani case) were filed with the sole purpose of fulfilling the condition of the enabling provisions of the MCOC Act”.
“The ATS had booked Rakesh Dhawde claiming that he had given training to the other accused. The court, however, found no evidence against him and the other three accused,” said ND Runwal, Dhawde’s lawyer.
He said that the court had a total of 51 witnesses examined but the prosecution had not been able to prove the conspiracy.
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