Bhonsala Military School commandant, aide quit (Lead, Changing dateline)

November 12th, 2008 - 7:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai/Nashik, Nov 12 (IANS) Two officials of the Nashik-based Bhonsala Military School (BMS) have quit from their posts after they were interrogated in connection with the Malegaon bomb blast, a school authority said Wednesday.BMS commandant Lt. Col. (retired) Shailesh S. Raikar and official Rajan Gaidhani submitted their resignations, without assigning any reasons, to the school management, Central Hindu Military Education Society (CHMES), BMS principal R.R. Kute told IANS in Mumbai.

The resignations, which have not yet been accepted, shall be discussed at a CHMES meeting scheduled in Nashik Thursday before a final decision, he said.

School management secretary Diwakar Kulkarni told IANS: “They were with us yesterday (Tuesday). If the subject had come up then, a decision could have been taken then and there.”

Raikar had been appointed BMS commandant barely six months ago, while Gaidhane had been working in the school since nearly seven years, Kute said.

Raikar, 42, and Gaidhane, 55, were detained and interrogated by the Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) regarding their involvement in the Sep 29 bomb blast in Malegaon, which left six dead and 20 injured.

The BMS is under the ATS scanner as a suspected meeting point for a number of Hindu activists arrested in connection with the blast.

Raikar and Gaidhani were subjected to intense interrogation by the ATS following revelations that they had attended a crucial meeting of the Hindutva group Abhinav Bharat in the school premises Sep 16 in which the Sep 29 bomb blast plan was allegedly given the final shape.

While both of them reportedly admitted that they had attended the meeting, the ATS did not arrest them.

Rejecting a suggestion that the resignations have come at the behest of the school management in view of their possible arrest, Kulkarni said: “Even if that (arrest) happens after they resign, the name of the school would be associated with them.

“What is happening is, the whole thing is proving to be a big distraction… there are so many calls… so many queries… with the two around; that is hampering the day-to-day working,” Kulkarni added.

Asked whether he resigned protesting the tarnishing of the image of the BMS, Raikar declined a comment. Asked further whether it would not be more appropriate for the school management to register such a protest, he said it was up to them.

Kulkarni said the school management had already met Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil and ATS chief Hemant Karkare to express their anguish over the sullying of the school’s image.

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