Indian security officials ‘involved’ in Malegaon blast

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: The alleged involvement of a retired Indian army official and a former Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer in a bomb blast that killed many Muslims in Malegaon has sent shockwaves in India’s security establishment.

Authorities here on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of Major (r) Ramesh Upadhaya in connection with the blast. Sources said the police were also questioning a former IB official regarding the blast.

Earlier, the police had arrested Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and two of her associates belonging to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangah (RSS) group.

A city court in Nashik in the Indian state of Maharashtra remanded Upadhaya and his associate Sameer Kulkarni to police custody. Upadhaya, the president of a voluntary organisation, Abhinav Bharat, in Pune, was picked up from his residence for questioning by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad last week.

The organisation allegedly claimed on its website that it was formed in 2006 with the aim of combating terrorism and rebuilding the nation around Hindu culture.

Kulkarni, who was detained for questioning from Indore, has links to Abhinav Bharat and is a former member of Bharatiya Janata Party’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

Sadhvi Pragnya Singh, 38, who hails from Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh was accused of providing the motorcycle used in the blast at Bhikku Chowk on the eve of Eidul Fitr.

A court on Wednesday ordered brain-mapping, narco and polygraphy tests of the retired army officer and Sadhvi Pragya.

The unearthing of Hindu terrorist module has unnerved the BJP, which is campaigning for crucial five-state assembly polls. The BJP leaders are finding it hard to explain Pragya’s links to the ABVP.

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  1. Tousif

     /  October 30, 2008

    The father of Sadhvi Pragna Singh, who was arrested for alleged involvement in Malegaon blasts, today said he does not believe her daughter would be involved in such a crime.

    “She is a very sensitive person and cannot bear injustice. I cannot believe that she is involved in any such thing,” Chandrapal Singh said at his house in Punagam area of the city.

    “Since childhood, she had inclination for spiritual side of life. She became a Sadhvi two years ago and the family has lost contact with her since then,” Singh, who migrated to Surat six years ago from Gwailor in Madhya Pradesh, said.

    “If the justice system in India is not guided by political considerations, then there is hope for her getting justice,” Singh said.
    Singh, who is an ayurveda practitioner, said she is associated with an organisation called ‘Jai Vande Matram’ and used to travel to different parts of the country.
    “Her name after she became a monk was Sadhvi Purnachetnagiri


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