Malegaon blast accused did not plot to kill RSS chief: Minister

April 8th, 2010 - 11:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, April 8 (IANS) Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil Thursday denied that the 2008 Malegaon blast accused had hatched a conspiracy to eliminate the then Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh general secretary Mohan Bhagwat, who now heads the organisation.
However, Patil said that the accused of the Malegaon blast, during some conversations - tapes of which the police have procured - had spoken about “a chemical powder” which could kill a person in two-three days if applied to his footwear.

He was responding to a shocking revelation made by a legislator from the Nationalist Congress Party, Jitendra Awhad, in the assembly that the Malegaon blast accused had conspired to kill Bhagwat and pass on the blame to Pakistan’s ISI agency.

“It is true that in a taped conversation, the accused had made derogatory remarks about Bhagwat. The mention of the chemical powder was made after that discussion on Bhagwat,” Patil said.

The home minister, however, categorically said that the Malegaon blast accused did not speak about any plan to use the chemical powder on Bhagwat.

Patil added that in the taped conversation, the accused had also claimed that the autopsy report would not be able to determine the actual cause of death.

Responding to demands to ban right-wing organisations like the Abhinav Bharat and Sanatan Sanstha, Patil said that though activists of these two groups were involved in the Malegaon, Thane and Goa blasts, it could not be conclusively said that “the organisations, per se, were involved in the act.”

“We shall investigate the matter and then appropriate steps would be taken,” Patil assured.

The Malegaon blast of Sep 29, 2008, killed six people and left over 100 others injured.

Following investigations by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), 11 accused were nabbed. Among them are Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur, military intelligence official Lt.Col. Prasad Purohit, and self-styled Shankaracharya Dayanand Pandey alias Sudhakar Dwivedi.

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