September 29, 2008 , 4 dead, 79 injured
ATTACK: Blast opposite Shakil Goods Transport Company, caused by LML Freedom motorcycle with explosives concealed inside.
PROBE: The investigation by Maharashtra ATS was led by Hemant Karkare. The initial breakthrough was achieved by tracing the owner of the motorcycle to Surat. This led the ATS to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a former ABVP activist. With the probe taking ATS officers to Pune, Nashik, Bhopal and Indore, Army officer Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit and retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay were arrested, and the role of the outfit Abhinav Bharat came to light, along with a key role played by a self-proclaimed Hindu seer, Sudhakar Dwivedi. The ATS probe found a conspiracy hatched by the accused, allegedly in retaliation to jihadi attacks. Subsequently, some of these accused were found to be behind other attacks such as the Malegaon 2006 blast.
ACCUSED: 14 chargesheeted by Maharashtra ATS on January 20, 2009 and April 21, 2011, before special MCOCA court in Mumbai. These include —
Judicial custody: Pragya Singh Thakur, Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sameer Kulkarni, Rakesh Dhawade, Sudhakar Dwivedi a.ka. Dayanand Pandey, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Pravin Takalki
Bail: Shivnarayan Kalsangra, Shyam Sahu, Ajay alias Raja Rahirkar, Jagdish Mhatre
Absconding: Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange
STATUS: The NIA took over the case on the direction of Home Ministry on April 13, 2011, and it is still investigating the case. The trial is yet to begin. Last April, the Supreme Court took up the matter on whether Sadhvi Pragya and Purohit can be charged under MCOCA (see report) and asked the trial court in Mumbai to consider their bail applications. Earlier, Bombay High Court had quashed the special MCOCA court’s decision of dropping charges under the stringent law.