2008 Malegaon blast trial: Another witness turns hostile, 35 so far


Mumbai: A medical professional on Friday became the 35th witness to turn hostile in the 2008 Malegaon blast case trial.

The witness had told the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra Police that he had attended a meeting in Bhopal in April 2008 where some of the accused including Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit were present.

At this meeting of the Abhinav Bharat organisation, Purohit “discussed about Guerrilla War and taking action against Muslims,” as per the statement recorded by the ATS which probed the case initially.

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Pragya Singh Thakur, another accused who is now the BJP MP from Bhopal, stated at the meeting that some persons were ready for this work, the witness had allegedly told the ATS.

He had, purportedly, also said that he was associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

But in his statement to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) which took over the case later, he denied having made these statements.

When the ATS was recording his statement, he was under extreme pressure as his name appeared in the media often and his wife was suffering from cancer, he told the NIA.

On Friday, the witness failed to recognise the accused who were present in the court, and denied giving any statement to either the ATS or NIA.

The court then declared him as hostile.

Six people were killed and more than 100 injured on September 29, 2008, when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon town in north Maharashtra, some 200 km from Mumbai.

A total of seven accused including Thakur and Colonel Prasad Purohit are facing trial in the case. All of them are out on bail.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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