NIA Files Chargesheet In 2008 Malegaon Blasts

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Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a chargesheet in a Mumbai court in connection with the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case.

In the chargesheet, the NIA has dropped Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s name as an accused.

The NIA has decided to drop charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the key accused, Colonel Prasad Purohit, and all other accused. They will now be charged under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The September 29, 2008 Malegaon blasts in which seven were killed and another 80 were injured, was the first major case in which the involvement of right-wing Hindu extremists came to the fore after investigations by then Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks by Pakistani terrorists.

Initially, the needle of suspicion was cast on minority community members, but after Karkare’s probe, 12 people including Sadhvi Pragya, Colonel PS Purohit (retd) and Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Shyam Sahu, SN Kalsangra, Sameer Kulkarni, and Dayanand Pandey were arrested.

The case was investigated by the local police followed by the ATS and CBI; the NIA took it over in 2011 after which three more accused were nabbed.

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