The accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, on Saturday alleged an attack on his family in Lucknow. However, no one was injured in the incident. Upadhyay alleged unidentified persons fired at their vehicle while they were on their way to Delhi near Budhheswar crossing on Mohaan Road. He claimed they managed to puncture its tyres too. Upadhyay, who is out on bail in the case, told The Sunday Express that he was travelling with his wife, daughter, daughter-in-law and son who was driving the vehicle at the time.
“We were on our way to Delhi from our hometown in Ballia. We stayed in a hotel on Sitapur road last night and left this morning. We had reached Budhheshwar Chowk at around 11.30 am when a bullet hit the rear windscreen. The assailant may have been aiming for the driver, but luckily it missed as the vehicle was taking turn that time,” Upadhyay said. “While we were looking for space to park the vehicle to investigate the damage when a man of around 25 years of age came to us and said the windscreen of the vehicle was damaged and asked me to get out and check it. When we stopped the vehicle, another person came running with a knife and punctured a rear tyre. Then, I took out a stick kept in the vehicle and chased both the men who managed to escape.”
He then called the police control room and a team arrived there. The family then repaired the tyre and continued their journey with police escort. When asked for a possible motive behind the attack, he said it might have been to malign the image of the state government or an attempt to rob them.
Following a complaint, an FIR was lodged against unidentified persons under IPC sections 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), said Para station officer Ajay Kumar Tripathi. Station officer said the police team at the spot found the rear windscreen smashed and a rear tyre punctured. In his four-page complaint, however, Upadhyay had not mentioned an attempt on his life or that he saw anyone puncturing the tyre.
“In the complaint, Upadhyay stated that he heard a sound of some object hitting the SUV. He got down to find the rear windscreen damaged and a tyre punctured,” Tripathi added.
Upadhyay had been arrested in the Malegaon blast case on October 28, 2008 and was in jail till he got the bail from Bombay High Court on September 26 last year. After his release, he had moved the special NIA court at Mumbai seeking security. The request was denied at the time time after prosecution told the court that there was no specific threat to Upadhyay. Six persons were killed and 101 injured in the IED blast at Malegaon in Maharashtra’s Nashik district on September 29, 2008.