Terror trio: A swami, a sadhvi and a sainik

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 19, 2008 13:29 hrs

Mumbai: As the mystery behind the September 29 Malegaon blast unravels, an unholy nexus between a swami, a sadhvi and a sainik has emerged. For spreading the hardline Hindu fundamentalism, the Malegaon blast was planned. But the investigations of Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is not stopping here.

Images: The gods must be crazy!

The sainik, to be precise the former Indian Army spy, Lt Col Prasad Purohit, has emerged as the mastermind of the Malegaon blast which claimed five lives and injured more than 50 others. The inspiration was from self-styled Shankaracharya Dayanand Pandey alias Sudhakar Diwedi alias Swami Amritananda Dev Teerth, the Srimad Jagat Guru Shankaracharya Sharda Sarvagyapeeth-Kashmir.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur alias Purnachetanandagiri was the key motivator. Pragya was constantly in touch with ex-Maj Ramesh Updhayaya, who organised the Abhinav Bharat activities and remained in touch with the Purohit. He also looked at the logistics part of the blast. Such was the nexus of these people that their role now into the Samjhauta Express blast and the Nanded blast is also being seen.

Purohit procured RDX for Samjhauta blast: ATS

The ATS is receiving help from the Central Bureau of Investigation and Intelligence Bureau. "We have now got the link, and would dismantle the entire chain. There is no stopping now. Let me assure that there is no political interference whatsoever. For the last three to four years we have been keeping a watch on Hindu militant fundamentalism, and enough groundwork has been done," a highly-placed Intelligence department official said.

Meanwhile, director general of police A N Roy said the arrests in the Malegaon case was backed by solid evidence and dismissed allegations made by some political parties, including the Shiv Sena and BJP, about the probe. "We are strictly going by evidence," said special inspector general of police Hemant Karkare, who heads the ATS.

The swami has named Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and her two close aides Ramji Kalsangra and Sameer Dange as the main persons behind the September 29 Malegaon blast. On the other hand, a clear link between Purohit and Pandey has emerged as the Army officer has served in Jammu and Kashmir.

Images: An aggressive sadhvi

Pandey is accused of having attended meetings held in Bhopal, Pune and Faridabad prior to the September 29 Malegaon blast. Another arrested accused from right wing organisation Abhinav Bharat, Ajay Rahirkar, had allegedly transferred large amounts of money to Pandey, prosecution counsel Ajay Misar said. The ATS suspects the money was sent for purchase of RDX and detonators used in the blast.

Now the large part of the probe is: From where this 60 kgs of RDX was sourced and how the Hindu fundamentalists got in touch with Purohit?

Meanwhile, the ATS has intensified its search for Ramji Kalsangra and Sameer Dange, the two absconders who had played major role in planting the bombs. They are the missing link in the probe.