Malegaon blast suspect Pandey visited Kashmir in 2003November 13th, 2008 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Nov 13 (IANS) The mystery surrounding the Kashmir connection of self-proclaimed Shankaracharya Dayanand Pandey, arrested in connection with the Malegaon blasts, appears to be getting deeper by the day.Pandey visited in 2003 the Zeethyar temple, which lies adjacent to the Raj Bhawan in the summer capital Srinagar, according to an official of the temple trust.
“In 2003, Swami Amritanand Pandey visited the Zeethyar temple,” Maharaj Krishen Pandita, general secretary of the Zeesta Devi Temple Trust, told IANS.
“He looked like a state guest and was accompanied by a lot of security men. He claimed he was visiting various Hindu shrines in the valley besides going to the Amarnath cave shrine,” Pandita said.
The general secretary of the temple trust said the so-called swami never visited the temple after 2003.
The Kashmir police didn’t confirm that Pandey had met Lt.Col. P.S. Purohit - the army officer accused in the blast - when he was posted in the Kashmir valley in 2003, as reported by some TV channels.
“We have no information about any such meeting having taken place between the two in the valley,” Inspector General of Police B. Srinivas told IANS.
Believed to be a vital link among the nine people arrested earlier in connection with the Malegaon blast, Pandey was nabbed from Kanpur by a joint team of the Mumbai ATS and its Uttar Pradesh counterpart Wednesday.
Pandey was Thursday sent to a transit remand till 4 p.m. Nov 16.
Six people were killed in the low-intensity blast in the Maharashtra town of Malegaon late Sep 29 night.
Pandey was the peethadheeshwar or head of the Sharda Sarvagya Peeth in Jammu.
Pandey, a native of Varanasi, had been living in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir for a long time and came to Kanpur last week, according to the Uttar Pradesh police.