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CBI did not take Nanded leads seriously
Sumir Kaul in Mumbai
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November 16, 2008 16:55 IST

Central Bureau of Investigation's probe into the 2006 Nanded blast has come into question as the agency appears to have not taken due cognisance of deposition of one of the accused indicating first signs of militarisation of some of the self-styled right wing groups.

Sources in the central security agencies said one of the accused, whose voice had to be restored after operating his vocal chord which was damaged in the blast, had told investigators that Naresh Rajkondwar, a Bajrang Dal activist, had allegedly planned three blasts outside mosques that shook Jalna and Parbani in Maharashtra in 2003 and 2004.

The Nanded bomb blast took place in the intervening night of April 4 and 5, 2006 at the residence of Laxman Rajkondwar, allegedly a RSS worker. Rajkondwar' son Naresh and Himanshu Panse who was VHP activist were killed while assembling the bomb.

Though the CBI has chargesheeted ten people in the case, sources said, it has not been able to trace back the leads provided by some of the accused who claimed to have admitted, before investigators, their role in the earlier blasts.

Recoveries made by the investigating agencies from Rajkondwar's house included Muslim skull caps, fake beards and a plan showing that the target was to hit a Mosque at Aurangabad, nearly 200 km from Nanded.

Investigators claimed the accused had revealed that he was sent to Pune by Naresh on his train ticket on the day when crude explosive material was thrown outside a mosque in Jalna in 2004.

According to sources, this was done to create an alibi for Naresh and to show that he was not in town when the blast took place.

With the Anti-Terrorism Squad looking into the possible linkages of the accused in the Malegaon blast with Nanded and other explosions, CBI has now sent a team to Mumbai to get fresh inputs to help its probe.

While the CBI preferred to remain silent on the issue, some of its senior officers admitted that their investigations were limited to Nanded case only.

Officials who had investigated the Nanded blast, on condition of anonymity said that during the probe, call details of Naresh were also traced to an important functionary of a saffron outfit in Ayodhya, which was however, not pursued.

The CBI now wants to probe the links of 10 arrests in the Malegaon blast case including Lt Colonel Srikant Purohit, with the Nanded case.

The agency had investigated the Nanded blast and filed a chargesheet on March 15, 2008 against 10 people which included Sanjay Chowdhury, Yogesh Deshpande, Maruti [Get Quote] Wagah, Gunniraj Thakur and Mahesh Pandey, allegedly associated with Bajrang Dal besides the two who were killed.

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