Malegaon blast: Dhawde produced in court

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 12, 2008 04:12 hrs

Parbhani: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police on Tuesday produced key Malegaon bomb blast accused Rakesh Dhawde before a court in Parbhani in connection with terror crimes committed here and in nearby towns during 2003-04.

While the ATS plea for Dhawde's police custody was turned down by the chief judicial magistrate's court in Nashik on Monday, the Parbhani court allowed his handing over to the Aurangabad police for renewed investigations in the blasts committed in the region.

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Dhawde, a Pune-based counterfeit arms dealer whose connection with other blast accused and Abhinav Bharat functionaries Ajay Rahilkar, Major (Retired) Ramesh Upadhyay and Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit were bared by ATS before the Nashik court, is believed to have played a key role in a Bajrang Dal training camp in Pune's Simhagad area in 2006.

Training in handling arms and explosives was allegedly provided to 54 Bajrang Dal and Abhinav Bharat volunteers in the camp. The ATS told the court that Dhawde arranged transport of participants from various Marathwada towns to Pune for the Simhagad camp.

Dhawde is also suspected to have been a link in procurement of explosives to Bajrang Dal activists Himanshu Panse, Naresh Rajkondawar and Rahul Pande of Nanded in 2006.

While Panse and Rajkondawar died attempting to make a bomb inside the latter's residence in 2006, Pande had fractured his hand in the accidental blast. Though the mishap was initially 'passed off' as a cooking gas cylinder blast, Pande later revealed during a narco test conducted by ATS that it was a bomb-making attempt.

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Special Public Prosecutor Ajay Misar, who produced evidence before the Nashik CJM court Monday to establish involvement of the Malegaon bomb blast accused in the Nanded, Jalna, Purna and Parbhani blasts, also pointed out Dhawde's role in huge funds transfer to Rahilkar, Upadhyay and Sameer Kulkarni before the September 29 blast in Malegaon.

The ATS, in concert with the Marathwada police, is expected to produce Dhawde before the courts in Jalna and Purna later in the week.

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