‘Urs was another target of Abhinav Bharat’

Abhinav Bharat had identified many more similar targets including the Urs festival in Panipat,if the witness statements in the Malegaon blast case are to be believed.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 18, 2009 9:22:59 pm

If the confession and the witness statements in the Malegaon blast case are to be believed,Abhinav Bharat had identified many more similar targets including the Urs festival in Panipat. Although prime accused Sudhakar Dwivedi has not legally retracted his confession,which was made before the police,he wrote that the statements in it were untrue just before putting his signature on the document in the presence of a judge.

In the statement recorded before the magistrate on November 25,2008,Dwivedi said that during one of the initial meeting held at Deolali in August 2007,the right-wing terror group focused on how to do something during the Urs festival because the ‘maximum number of cows are slaughtered there’.

The meeting was attended by other co-accused Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit,Sudhakar Chaturvedi and retired major Ramesh Upadhyay.

Interestingly,the confession also refers to a ‘former Member of Parliament’ whose name has been blanked out before it was provided to the court.

Another revelation in the statement is about two witnesses who,on several instances,have seen Chaturvedi with a ‘golden colour motorbike’ in September 2008. According to the prosecution,this is the same bike that was used to plant explosives at Malegaon on September 29,2008.

Dwivedi has also told policemen that Purohit was supplying ‘firearms’ in return for money and one of his ‘disciples’ — Ashok from Bhopal — procured a weapon from him.” Ashok deposited the money in Purohit’s ICICI bank account,” Dwivedi stated in his confession.

An amount of Rs 5 lakh was allegedly paid to Purohit for a ‘gun consignment’ by a man whose name too has been blanked out. Dwivedi talks about several meetings allegedly held in places like Ujjain,Bhopal,Jabalpur and Deolai. In these meetings,members of Abhinav Bharat discussed incidents where Hindus had been killed by Muslims and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur demanded that Purohit ‘supply explosives’ so that the group could ‘do something’.

Dwivedi also spoke on the plans made to gun down RSS leader Indresh Kumar as Purohit and others believed that he was taking money from the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI. However,this plan never materialised.

One of the witness statements also mentions that Dwivedi allegedly had Hawala links through which he had received money on several instances from people after he promised them that he,with his highly-placed contacts,could arrange admissions in colleges across the country. This same witness further speaks on how he was highly impressed by Dwivedi,but later cut all ties after he came to know that they had ‘some role’ in the Malegaon blast.

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