A mob of 15,000 people “manipulated” the crime scene after the 2008 blast at Malegaon, claimed the lawyers of BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the incident that claimed six lives. The lawyers also claimed that the mob was “motivated” and “attempted to screen the real culprit”.
The blast, which occurred at Bhiku Chowk on September 29, 2008, at around 9.30 pm, also injured over 100 people. Thakur’s lawyers submitted that after the blast, the police could not reach the site of the explosion for over six hours, and therefore could not see any motorcycle or bicycle at the spot.
However, this was denied by the duty officer at Azad Nagar police station in Malegaon, Sudhir Patil, who deposed as a prosecution witness on Thursday. Patil, on whose complaint the FIR was filed, stated that he had seen a half-burnt LML Freedom motorcycle. He told the court that based on its damaged condition, he suspected that the bomb was planted on it and had mentioned this in his FIR.
Investigating agencies had alleged that the motorcycle, with the registration number MH-15 P 4562, was in Thakur’s name.
Patil told the court that when he, along with a few other police personnel, reached the spot, they noticed the LML Freedom as well as another motorcycle and a few bicycles. He said he also noticed blood stains near the blast site. Patil accepted that after the blast, a mob had gathered and controlling it was difficult. He further said that there was stone-pelting by the mob, due to which two officers suffered injuries, including an officer of the Quick Response Team.
He denied the claim of Thakur’s lawyer, J P Mishra, that the mob had obstructed the police when they reached the spot.
“It is not correct to say that our police team was far from the spot as the mob was not under control, and hence we could not notice the motorcycle or bicycles at the blast site. It is not correct to say that I did not notice the number of the motorcycle,” said Patil.
He was further asked about whether force was used on the mob, to which he said until the time he was at the spot, which was around 2.30 am, no force was used.
Patil also denied a question by another accused, Sameer Kulkarni, that he had given a complaint based on words chosen by “political persons”. His cross-examination will continue on Monday.