The Malegaon 11

On September 29,2008,a bomb placed on a motorcycle went off in a crowded market square in Malegaon,killing seven and injuring more than 70....

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: January 22, 2009 3:05:08 am

On September 29,2008,a bomb placed on a motorcycle went off in a crowded market square in Malegaon,killing seven and injuring more than 70. Over three months later,in a 4,000-page chargesheet filed by the Maharashtra Police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad,the 11 accused in the case find themselves charged under various Sections of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act,the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,the Explosive Substances Act,Arms Act and the Indian Penal Code. Simultaneously,the ATS named three accused — Ramchandra Gopalsingh Kalsangra,Sandeep Vishwas Dange and Pravin Mutalik — who are still on the run,as “wanted” bomb planters.

The salient points of the chargesheet,which throw light on the specific role that the 11 right-wing extremists played in the conspiracy and execution of the blast.

Sadhvi Pragyasingh Chandrapalsingh Thakur (38)

Alias: Sadhvi Purnachetanand Giri

Who she is: A former member of the right-wing students’ body Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and the founder and national president of Jai Vande Mataram Jan Kalyan Samiti. Taken into custody on October 23 last year,she was the first to be arrested.

Charges: The former ABVP member supplied her LML Freedom bike GJ 05 1920 and “two confidants” Ramji and Sandeep Dange for the job of planting the bomb at Bhiku Chowk,Malegaon. She is also charged with participating in conspiracy meetings including the Bhopal meeting on April 11 / 12,2008 where the bombing plot was hatched.

Evidence includes a statement by a witness who was present in a room in Ujjain when the Sadhvi spoke about the Malegaon blast — she was being briefed on how to answer questions during interrogation. It was allegedly upon her instructions that Ramji and Dange were trained in the making of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Pune.

Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit (36)

Aliases: Balwant Rao,Shreyak Ranadive

Who he is: Was a serving Army officer in Pachmarhi,Madhya Pradesh,at the time of the arrest. Is alleged to be the founder of the front organisation Abhinav Bharat floated on February 2,2007,to propagate a separate Hindu Rashtra.

Charges: The ATS has called him the man behind the “fundamental ideology” of the group. Is charged with single-handedly raising funds up to Rs 21 lakh — against the rules of the armed forces — and is said to have arranged conspiracy meetings in Faridabad,Kolkata,Bhopal,Indore and Nashik. Took finances from Abhinav Bharat for procuring hand-grenades. He convened the first conspiracy meeting in Faridabad on January 26 2008,which was attended by Ramesh Upadhyay,Dayanand Pandey,Sameer Kulkarni and Sudhakar Chaturvedi. Was responsible for procuring explosives,including RDX,which he sourced from Kashmir while he was posted there. Procured forged documents,including an arms license and an entry pass to Deolali Military Camp area,Nashik,for co-accused Chaturvedi.

Sudhakar Udayaban Dhar Dwivedi (40)

Aliases: Dayanand Pandey,Swami Amrutanand,Shankaracharya Sharada Sarvagya Peeth

Who he is: A self-styled godman from Uttar Pradesh,he visited Jammu and Kashmir several times in recent years.

Charges: He allegedly attended all the conspiracy meetings and is said to have highlighted atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits and called for revenge in his speeches during these sessions. He was also in the habit of secretly videotaping the conspiracy meetings. The recordings were saved in his laptop,which was seized by the ATS. He directed Purohit on certain transactions including a Rs 80,000-deposit for a firearm delivery to a person in Bhopal.

Rakesh Dattatraya Dhawade (42)

Who he is: An arms curator and a well-known antique weapons collector in Pune. MCOCA could be applied in the Malegaon blast case,as Dhawade had two chargesheets against him in two earlier blasts in 2003.

Charges: Dhawade was associated with the Abhinav Bharat group members from the beginning and even attended their foundation day,according to the chargesheet. He is a trained expert in assembling and detonating IEDs. His private Institute of Research and Development in Oriental Studies-Arms and Armour had received Rs 2,25,000 from Abhinav Bharat. He is charged with sourcing the explosives,four imported firearms and 196 live cartridges.

Sameer Sharad Kulkarni (39)

Who he is: Media publicist for Abhinav Bharat

Charges: His cellphone SMS records show that he was told by Purohit to escape and go into hiding after the blasts. He is also charged with being one of the two ‘Chanakyas’ or thinkers of the group,who were allegedly paid a monthly sum of Rs 5,000.

Sudhakar Omkarnath Chaturvedi (37)

Was the second thinker or ‘Chanakya’ of the group along with Kulkarni. His house was allegedly used for assembling the IED used in the Malegaon blast. The ATS found one detonator and samples of the explosives in his house.

Shivnarayan Gopalsingh Kalsangra (36)

Related to the Ramji Kalsangra,who is accused of planting the bomb. The ATS found two timers at his residence given to him by his brother; he was arrested based on a witness statement.

Shyam Bavarlal Sahu (42)

Owns a mobile store and is charged with supplying the group with SIM cards. He had helped Ramji with SIM cards that were used during the conspiracy conversations,says the chargesheet. The ATS is using his 400-minute telephonic conversations with Sadhvi since September 2009 as part of the MCOCA chargesheet.

Ramesh Shivji Upadhyay (57)

The retired Army Major and the working president of Abhinav Bharat,he is charged with attending conspiracy meetings; allegedly helped in logistics.

Ajay Raja Eknath Rahirkar (39)

Treasurer of Abhinav Bharat. Is charged with controlling the finances and disbursing the amount for buying explosives and hand-grenades. He allegedly procured Rs 10,00,000 for the group in July 2008.

Jagdish Chintaman Mhatre (40)

He was the last in the chain for sourcing weapons; the ATS recovered two imported firearms with 15 live cartridges from the Dombivali resident.

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