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ATS links Best Bakery accused to Dargah blast

The Rajasthan ATS now believes that all four accused in the Best Bakery case in Vadodara were part of the plot to carry out the Ajmer Dargah blast.

Written by Apurva | Jaipur | January 4, 2011 1:55:24 am

The Rajasthan ATS now believes that all four accused in the 2002 Best Bakery case in Vadodara were part of the plot to carry out the Ajmer Dargah bombing five years later. Three of these accused — Ramesh Gohil,Jayanti Gohil and Mahesh Gohil — are from the same family and have been on the run from Gujarat Police since 2004. The fourth,Harshad Solanki,was arrested by the ATS on November 1 last year.

In a proposal sent to the state Home department over the weekend,the ATS suggested a reward of Rs 5 lakh for information on each of the three Gohils. “We believe they might have helped transport the two bombs used in the Dargah blast from Godhra to Ajmer,” a senior ATS officer told The Indian Express on Monday. He added that all three were residents of Vadodara.

Fourteen people were killed after a mob burnt down the Best Bakery in Hanuman Tekri in Vadodara on March 1. A local court acquitted the 22 accused in the case,but the Mumbai High Court re-opened the trial,following which 18 of them were arrested. The other four — Solanki and the three Gohils — were declared absconders.

The ATS believes that the four accused were recruited by Sunil Joshi,a key conspirator in the Ajmer terror plot,in 2006,while they were on the run. Joshi,a former RSS man,was murdered in Dewas,Madhya Pradesh,in 2007,allegedly by a group of men that included Solanki.

“Solanki was involved in the construction of the (Ajmer) bomb,while the other three met Joshi in Godhra just days before the blast and ferried the completed bombs to Ajmer,” said the ATS officer. Early in December 2010,the ATS recovered the car used to transport the bombs from Madhya Pradesh to Godhra,from where they were taken to Ajmer on a state transport bus.

In April-May 2010,alleged Hindu extremists Devendra Gupta,Chandrashekhar and Lokesh Sharma were arrested in connection with the Dargah bombing. This was followed by the arrest of Solanki,and then,on November 4,by that of Mahesh Vasani,an anti-cow slaughter activist.

Gupta and Sharma are also accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad. The CBI,probing the Hyderabad blast,in November 2010 arrested Swami Aseemanand,the alleged ideologue of the Ajmer terror. The Swami was also questioned by the National Investigation Agency in connection with the February 2007 Samjhauta blasts.

Two other suspects in the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer cases,Ramji Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange,currently absconding,have been named as accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blasts as well.

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