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Malegaon blasts financier arrested

November 03, 2008 23:08 IST

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad said it had arrested the man who handled the financial affairs of the group of persons who carried out the September 29 blast in Malegaon in which six persons were killed.

Ajay Eknath Rahirkar (39), one of the three persons arrested on Sunday by the ATS from Pune, was co-ordinating with other accused arrested in the case to provide funds to obtain arms, Joint Commissioner of Police (ATS) Hemant Karkare said.

The two others arrested are Jagdish Chintamani Mhatre (40), a resident of Dombivali in Thane, and Rakesh Dattaram Dhawade (42).

"Rahirkar handled the financial affairs of the group and senior members of the group would send him money. Rahirkar had given money to Dhawde to procure weapons," Karkare said.

During the interrogation of one of the arrested persons, Sameer Kulkarni, it was found that he had received funds from Rahirkar.

The ATS has recovered six weapons from Dhawade, a resident of  Pune, including six imported weapons and about 190 rounds, Karkare said.

"We have also recovered some weapons from Mhatre. Dhawade had procured the weapons from him," the Joint Commissioner said.

The weapons obtained from the duo were of the Smith and Wesson, Luger and Webley and Scott make, Karkare said.
However, he refused to comment on the source of the imported weapons and said investigations were still on in the matter.

Eight persons, including a retired army official and a sadhvi, have been arrested for allegedly participating in the conspiracy to carry out the blast.

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