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ATS questions another Abhinav Bharat member

November 26, 2008 15:50 IST

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Complete coverage: The Malegaon blast aftermath
Anti-Terrorism Squad officials have grilled another member of the Abhinav Bharat in connection with the September 29 Malegaon blast case.

Shyam Apte, an engineer who returned to India after spending 25 years in the United States and has been staying in Pune since the last one decade since his retirement, was grilled for three hours by ATS officials at his residence in Nav Sahyadri area of the city on Friday last. His name figured in the narco test of Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit.

Family sources told UNI that ATS sleuths had questioned Apte to know whether he had given any money to the self-styled mahant and a key suspect in the Malegaon blast case, Dayanand Pandey alias Swami Amritanand. 

ATS officials also questioned Apte pertaining to his relations with co-accused Lt Col Purohit, and asked him about his role in the alleged conspiracy to eliminate top Rashtriya Swayam Sangh member Indra Kumar, sources said. 

ATS sources said a probe has been initiated afresh as Apte's name also appeared in a laptop seized from Pandey. Before the latter's arrest, he was under the scanner for allegedly funding the Hindu radical outfit, Abhinav Bharat.

According to the ATS, Pandey had visited Pune on several occasions and also met Apte to whom he was introduced by Lt Col Purohit. 

When this reporter went to meet Apte, he could not talk owing to ill-health. However, his family members divulged all the details pertaining to his questioning by the ATS.

The family members ruled out Apte's active participation in RSS activities in the recent past. However, he used to attend an RSS 'shakha' as an ordinary member, they said.

They added that they have full faith and confidence in the judiciary and will extend their full cooperation to the investigating agency.


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