Police custody for ‘Shankaracharya’ in Malegaon case

November 14th, 2008 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Nashik (Maharashtra), Nov 14 (IANS) The chief judicial magistrate’s court here Friday remanded Jammu’s self-proclaimed Sharada Sarvadnya Peeth Shankaracharya (seer) Dayanand Pandey to police custody till Nov 26 to facilitate investigation of his suspected role in the Sep 29 Malegaon bomb blast in which six people were killed. The Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra Police, which produced Pandey before the court, was also permitted to conduct his brain-mapping, narco analysis and polygraph tests to further the probe.

The ATS had Thursday arrested the self-styled pontiff from Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh and obtained his transit remand from a local court there.

Known in Jammu as Swamy Amrutanand Dev, Pandey is suspected to have motivated Malegaon bomb accused Lt. Col. Prasad Srikant Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Thakur to execute the terror plan.

ATS sleuths also claim that Pandey attended an arms training camp of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad youth wing Bajrang Dal and Abhinav Bharat in Simhagad, Pune in 2006.

In an apparent bid to make out a case for wrongful arrest, the “Shankaracharya” told the court that he was not Dayanand Pandey but Amrutanand Dwivedi. He also complained of torture during his transit remand but offered to cooperated with the ATS in investigations by undergoing all scientific tests.

On Thursdday, Kanpur judicial magistrate Mukesh Kumar Singh, who too was initially baffled by the multiplicity of the seer’s names, granted the transit remand after being convinced that Dayanand Pandey, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Swamy Amrutanand Dev are aliases of the same person who heads the Sharada Sarvadnya Peeth in Jammu.

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