Malegaon net spreads to UP, another ex-Army man wanted

Malegaon net spreads to UP, another ex-Army man wanted

Lucknow: The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which today secured the permission of a court to conduct narco-analysis, polygraph and brain mapping tests on Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur in connection with the Malegaon and Modasa blasts case, is on the lookout for an ex-army Subedar Major from Farrukhabad district of Uttar Pradesh for alleged links with suspects.
The ATS also seemed to be narrowing in on the suspected role of retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay in helping the arrested Hindu activists.

A senior ATS official said the retired Subedar Major belongs to a village in Kampil area of Farrukhabad and his name came up during the interrogation of a Hindu Jagran Manch activist arrested from Indore. The HJM activist claimed that the ex-army man was an active member of the Bajrang Dal, had expertise in assembling timer devices and was called Master by the activists.

A Maharashtra ATS team is expected in Lucknow by Wednesday to trace the ex-army man and the UP police have been informed about it. The UP ATS team failed to trace the Subedar Major. His family members told the police that he had gone to Kolkata in June and had not returned ever since.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra ATS has secured the permission of a court to conduct narco-analysis, polygraph and brain mapping tests on Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur. ATS counsel Ajay Misar said that investigators Hunt for Master, an ex-army man, takes ATS to UP wanted to conduct the tests on the 38-year-old sadhvi as she was “changing her statements and not co-operating with the investigation.” The tests were needed to “channelise the investigation and to scrutinise facts with the help of scientific tests”, he added.

The sadhvi, who police say is an extremely radical Hindu activist, will have to undergo 17 clinical tests before she is subjected to the forensic tests. Misar said that she would be taken to the Forensic Science Laboratory in Mumbai’s Kalina suburb for the three tests but did not give a date.

The questioning is expected to mainly revolve around the origin of the RDX used in the explosives, the route taken to transport them and identities of others who may have helped her allegedly carry out the attacks.

According to the first forensic report from the Nashik laboratory, traces of RDX were found in 19 articles that were collected as evidence from the blast site in Malegaon and a final report on the same is awaited.

Meanwhile, sources said that the questioning of retired Major Upadhyay was progressing and they were closing in on his suspected role and links with the sadhvi and the two men arrested last week in connection with the blasts.

Another Hindu activist, Sameer Kulkarni, who was picked up on Saturday night by the ATS, was also being questioned. Suspected to have links with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) as well as the voluntary organisation ‘Abhinav Bharat’ � of which Major Upadhyay is the working president �Kulkarni was known to have organised an exhibition against terrorism at Gandhi Bhavan in Bhopal in April.

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