Malegaon blast accused charged under MCOCA: ATS (Lead)

November 20th, 2008 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 20 (IANS) The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has charged all the 10 accused in the Malegaon blast, including Sadhvi Pragnya Chandrapal Singh Thakur and Lt. Col. Prasad S. Purohit, under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), ATS chief Hemant Karkare said here Thursday evening.Karkare said that investigations into the Sep 29 Malegaon blast, which left six dead and 20 injured, are on the verge of completion.

Karkare also firmly rejected the charge of any political pressure in the investigations. “There is no political pressure in the investigations into the Malegaon blast,” he said.

Under MCOCA, the ATS will get six months to file a chargesheet against the accused, as compared to 90 days under other laws.

The ATS said it has found a video which shows Sadhvi Pragnya, self-styled spiritual guru Dayanand Pandey and Sameer Kulkarni, leader of the Madhya Pradesh-based radical Hindu group, Abhinav Bharat, together on stage. The trio is currently under arrest and in judicial custody in connection with the Malegaon blast.

The video was taken on April 12, 2008, in Bhopal at a function organised by Kulkarni and the group president Himani Savarkar, a relative of the late Hindutva ideologue and freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, known as Veer Savarkar.

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