Wednesday, April 24, 2024

2008 Malegaon blast: Key witness declared hostile, 37th so far

A crucial witness in the 2008 Malegaon blast case on Wednesday was declared hostile by a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court that names Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur among seven persons accused of carrying out terror attacks.

This was the 37th witness who turned hostile in the case. The investigation into Malegaon is among the rare occasions when Indian agencies probed the role of Hindu right-wing in terror attacks in the country. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is accused of supporting the blast that took six lives and 100 injured in in Maharashtra’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008.

According to the statement, the witness on October 8, 2008, overheard a conversation between Thakur and Ramji Kalsangra, who remains absconding. Thakur mentioned during the conversation that she had received a phone call from police for an inquiry related to the blast as they found a vehicle, claimed the ATS.

Investigators had recovered an LML scooter that had explosives strapped into it, which was allegedly registered in Thakur’s name.

The blast was initially investigated by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, which filed a chargesheet in the case. However, in 2011, the case was handed over to the NIA.

On April 28, another key witness in the case, a doctor associated with the RSS had turned hostile.

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