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Thackeray defends sadhvi Pragya, flays ATS

November 12, 2008 15:39 IST

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After declaring his intention to defend 'Sadhvi' Pragya Thakur, an accused in Malegaon blasts, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray [Images] on Wednesday charged the state Anti-Terrorism Squad with torturing the suspects in the case and trampling upon human rights.

"On the pretext of investigation, the ATS officials are riding roughshod adopting arbitrary methods while dealing with the suspects. If a similar posture was adopted in case of Muslim suspects, the likes of Gurudas Kamat (Congress campaign committee chief in Mumbai) would have raised a hue and cry on violation of human rights," Thackeray said in the editorial of party mouthpiece Saamana.

Taking strong exception to the investigating methods of Maharashtra ATS, Thackeray alleged that a telecom engineer picked up by the squad for interrogation was subjected to third degree treatment, paraded in public and later let off.

'The ATS officials are dancing to the tune of government indulging in Muslim appeasement. No offence has so far been proved against any of the accused booked in the Malegaon bomb blast case. But the tone and tenor of the investigation shows that the ATS has already made up its mind to convict and hang Lt Colonel Purohit.'

Thackeray said the ATS should also find out the source of money that flows from foreign countries to finance Muslim terrorists in India.

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