Another key accused in 2008 Malegaon blast held (Lead)

February 1st, 2011 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Feb 1 (IANS) The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad has nabbed Praveen Mutalik, one of the key accused on the run in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, a top official said here Tuesday.He was nabbed from Karnataka late Monday and a hunt is now on for two other accused - Ramji Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange - who too are on the run since the blast, said state ATS chief Rakesh Maria.

The ATS Tuesday presented Mutalik before a Special Court for Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, which remanded him in police custody till Feb 14.

The ATS notched the success after several attempts to trace Mutalik failed. It formed a new team which combed areas in Belgaum and Gokak in Karnataka and caught him Monday.

Mutalik’s real identity is Praveen Vyankatesh Takalaki and he is an important functionary of the Hindu rightist organisation, Abhinav Bharat, Maria said.

Besides running a mobile SIM card distribution agency, Mutalik was the personal secretary of another prime accused, Lt. Col. S.P. Purohit. Mutalik had taken the keys of the Pune residence of another co-accused, Sudhakar Chaturvedi.

He took the RDX kept there and it was later transported to Malegaon for carrying out the blast there.

The latest development takes the total number of arrests in the Malegaon blast case to 12, including other key accused like Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur, Purohit, Chaturvedi and others.

Seven people were killed and many more injured when a powerful bomb ripped through the minority-dominated Malegaon in Nashik district Sep 29, 2008.

Subsequent ATS investigations pointed to the involvement of Hindu extremist groups in the incident.

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