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Malegaon blast; three remanded to custody

Rahi Gaikwad

Booked under sections of the Explosives Act


Accused reportedly started Rashtriya Jagran Manch

The police recovered some mobile phones


MUMBAI: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested three persons on Thursday in connection with the Malegaon blast of September 29, ATS chief Hemant Karkare told journalists here on Friday.

The accused have been identified as Pragnya Singh Chandrapal Singh, 38, Shiv Narayan Gopal Singh Kalsanghra, 36, and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu, 42. They were produced before the Nashik Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court, which remanded them to police custody till November 3.

The motorcycle used in the blast belonged to Pragnya. “All efforts were taken to hide the ownership of the vehicle. The registration number was bogus and they tried to efface the engine and the chassis numbers.”

Pragnya is a sadhvi, who took ‘sanyas’ in 2007, after which she took on the alias Poorna Chetananandgiri. Originally from Madhya Pradesh, she shifted to Surat with her family a few years ago. However, she had no fixed location. Since she had chosen the religious path, she toured various places doing bhraman. She founded the Jai Vande Mataram Jan Kalyan Samiti in 2002. Investigators have recovered pamphlets of this organisation.

Mr. Karkare said the accused reportedly started the Rashtriya Jagran Manch. The police are probing the links of the Samiti and the Manch to Hindu religious organisations.

The police also recovered some mobile phones. Sahu was in the mobile business, said Mr. Karkare. He and Kalsanghra are from Indore.

The accused have been booked under various sections of the Indian Explosives Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) report had revealed “traces of RDX,” said Mr. Karkare.

A bomb attached to a motorcycle ripped through the Bhiku chowk area of Malegaon on September 29.

Corrections and Clarifications

The second paragraph of a report "Malegaon blast; three remanded to custody" (October 25, 2008) was "The accused have been identified as Pragnya Singh Chandrapal Singh, 38, Shiv Narayan Gopal Singh Kalsanghra, 36, and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu, 42 .." It should have been Pragnya Singh Chandrapal Singh Thakur.

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