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Malegaon: ATS to interrogate top UP leader

November 10, 2008 21:46 IST

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad on Monday obtained permission from a Nashik court to interrogate a high-profile leader from Uttar Pradesh [Images] whose role has emerged during questioning of those arrested in connection with Malegaon blasts.

"The application was filed seeking permission to interrogate a high-profile leader and to obtain co-operation from the Uttar Pradesh government in doing so," special counsel for the ATS Ajay Misar told PTI.

He declined to identify the leader saying the application was confidential.

The role of the leader had emerged during the interrogation of the other suspects in the case, he said. The ATS counsel, while seeking an extension of the police custody of Ajay Rahirkar, one of the nine arrested in connection with Malegaon blasts, argued that he had received approximately Rs 10.73 lakh through hawala channels.

Of this amount, he had allegedly given Rs 1.95 lakh and Rs 95,000 respectively to fellow Abhinav Bharat members Sameer Kulkarni and retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Misar told the court.

Rahirkar had also given Rs 3.2 lakh to Pune-based weapons expert Rakesh Dhawde and Rs 3.98 lakh to Lt Col Prasad S Purohit, he said.

Rahirkar, an automobile accessory business owner, had disbursed over Rs 5 lakh at the instance of Purohit, Misar said.

 The ATS had sought the custody of Dhawde in the 2004 Jalna and 2006 Nanded bomb blasts case since they had found evidence of his involvement in the attacks, Misar told the court while applying for transfer his custody to Aurangabad ATS.

Dhawde's link to the blasts was traced during the ongoing interrogation of the arrested accused, he said.

The ATS had found evidence during his interrogation to suggest that Dhawde was present during explosives training given to activists prior to the blasts, Misar told the court.

Nine persons, including sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, and a serving army officer, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in carrying out the blast in Malegaon on September 29 in which six were killed and about 80 persons injured.




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