Malegaon blast accused a motley lot, from ascetic to army man

November 20th, 2008 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 20 (IANS) The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested 10 people, including a woman and a serving army officer, in connection with the Sep 29 Malegaon blast which left six dead and 20 injured.They are:

1) Sadhvi Pragnya Chandrapal Singh Thakur, alias Purna Chetnanandagiri - considered the main conspirator. Her motorbike, which she sold over two years ago, was used in the deadly blast.

2) Shyamlal Sahu - owner of a mobile sales and servicing shop in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, a co-conspirator who is also accused of planting the bomb in Malegaon.

3) Shivnarain Singh Kalsangra - an electrician from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, accused of assembling a timer device that was used to explode the bomb.

4) Sameer Kulkarni - a former activist of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, in Bhopal, accused of helping procure the raw materials used in the bomb.

5) Retired Indian Army Major Ramesh Upadhyaya - a resident of Pune, was active in the BJP’s cell for ex-servicemen, accused of imparting training on the technique of bomb making.

6) Ajay Rahirkar - a resident of Pune, treasurer of the right-wing organisation Abbinav Bharat, considered a key fund-raiser for the group.

7) Rakesh Dhawade - a Pune-based expert on weapons and an arms collector, accused of helping procure weapons for the group.

8) Jagdish Mhatre - a resident of Dombivli, in Thane district, adjacent to Mumbai, accused of helping store the weapons.

9) Dayanand Pandey, alias Sudhakar Dwivedi, a self-styled religious leader considered a key conspirator, based in Jammu & Kashmir.

10) Lt. Col. Prasad S. Purohit - a serving Indian Army officer, attached to the AEC Panchmarhi, accused in the blasts conspiracy and helped to procure RDX.

In addition to the 10 accused who will now face additional charges under the stringent provisions of the MCOCA, the ATS is on the lookout for two more who are absconding.

They are: Ramji Kalsangra, hailing from Madhya Pradesh and believed to be the one who actually planted the bomb in Malegaon, and Sameer Dange also from Madhya Pradesh, an aide of Sadhvi Pragnya.

The MCOCA Section 3 has recommended the following punishment for carrying out organised crime:

(1) Whoever commits an offence of organised crime shall,

(i) If such an offence has resulted in the death of any person, be punishable with death or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to a fine, subject to a minimum fine of rupees one lakh (Rs. 100,000);

(ii) in any other case, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to a fine, subject to a minimum fine of rupees five lakh (Rs.500,000).

(2) Whoever conspires or attempts to commit or advocates, abets or knowingly facilitates the commission of an organised crime or any act preparatory to organised crime, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall be not less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to a fine, subject to a minimum of rupees five lakh (Rs.500,000).

(4) Any person who is a member of an organised crime syndicate shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to a fine, subject to a minimum fine of rupees five lakh (Rs.500,000).

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