Tuesday, June 22, 2010
New twist in Malegaon blast case
Colonel Shrikant Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Dayanand Pandey and Devendra Gupta were all arrested in connection with the Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and Ajmer Sharif bomb blasts. While a lot of evidence has been gathered with the help of these accused, the question is whether the leads provided by them are good enough to crack the conspiracy.
The Central Bureau of Investigation would do well to take into custody a man named Ramnarayan Kalsangra, believed to be person who planted the bombs in Malegaon. In the beginning, there were doubts whether the Malegaon blast operatives such as Pandey, Purohit and the Sadhvi were connected to the Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts. However, Gupta's confessions in judicial custody have made it clear that they were part of a single module.
The CBI says Kalsangra, an Abhinav Bharat activist, was introduced to Gupta by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Sunil Joshi. Kalsangra's role becomes crucial since all the accused who are in custody have told their interrogators that he was the man who planted the bomb at Malegaon.
The CBI thought the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer operations were independent ones while another module headed by Purohit had carried out the Malegaon blasts. However, during her interrogation, Sadhvi Pragya claimed that she and Sunil Joshi had introduced Kalsangra to Devendra Gupta. This fact was confirmed by Gupta too during his interrogation. This crucial disclosure proves that the three blasts are linked. Moreover, it also goes on to substantiate the claim made by Dayanand Pandey, who had confessed to carrying out the Hyderabad blasts.
Kalsangra is considered to be an expert at assembling bombs. He was the one who is believed to have planted the bomb at Malegaon, and the CBI also believes he helped prepare the bombs for both the Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts.
While these groups had been planning on undertaking such operations for quite some time, they turned aggressive following Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh pracharak Sunil Joshi's killing. During the initial part of the Malegaon investigations, it was revealed that Joshi and the Sadhvi were close friends and she wanted to avenge Joshi's death which she believed was carried out by the Students Islamic Movement of India activists.
Joshi had, on various occasions, spoken of the need to take revenge against the Pakistan-based terrorists. Joshi decided to rope in his friend Kalsangra and asked him to train in bomb-making. Joshi, Kalsangra and the Sadhvi then met Gupta in a Jharkhand village and decided to execute attacks on Muslim shrines.
These meetings indicated that they had first decided to target the Ajmer dargah, and Malegaon was never on their radar. However, investigators say the plan to target Malegaon was made after Joshi's murder since the Sadhvi believed that it was the Malegaon SIMI module which killed her friend.
All through the planning stages of the Ajmer blast, Joshi and Kalsangra kept in touch with each other and even procured 14 different SIM cards to use during the attack.
The investigations into the Ajmer blasts reveal that all the SIM cards were procured from Jharkhand, where Kalsangra's brother Shivanarayan sold mobile phones. The CBI says the primary focus of Gupta's interrogation would be to find out Kalsangra's current location.