MCOCA court sends Abhinav Bharat activist to police custody (Lead)

November 21st, 2008 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 21 (IANS) A designated special judge Friday evening remanded Sudhakar Chaturvedi, one of the accused in the Malegaon blast case, to police custody till Dec 3 under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).Special MCOCA Judge Y.D. Shinde also allowed the Maharashtra police Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) to bring before it Nov 24 the other nine people who are accused in the same case.

Chaturvedi was brought to Mumbai after the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nashik, granted the ATS permission to seek his custody under MCOCA.

On Thursday, the ATS slapped various provisions of the MCOCA on all the 10 accused arrested in the Malegaon blast case, including Sadhvi Pragnya Chandrapal Singh Thakur.

Chaturvedi, general secretary of the right-wing Hindutva group Abhinav Bharat, was arrested by Mumbai Police Nov 4 for possessing an illegal revolver, live cartridges and a fake Indian Army identity card.

He confessed to the police that he had obtained the weapon and the fake army ID card from Malegaon blast case accused Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit. The army officer too had mentioned Chaturvedi’s name during his interrogation by the ATS, the court was told.

The Abhinav Bharat functionary, however, did not reveal to Mumbai Police the purpose for which Purohit gave him the weapon and the ID card, a police official said.

This apparently led the police to conduct a narco analysis test on Chaturvedi in Bangalore, from where he was brought Wednesday and lodged in a jail in Thane.

The police also seized from Chaturvedi a railway ticket for travel from Deolali in Nashik district to Dadar in Mumbai. An Abhinav Bharat full-timer, Chaturvedi owns a house in Deolali but has also rented an accommodation in Mumbai.

Six people were killed and 20 injured in the bomb blast in Malegaon Sept 29.

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