//Both Nanded blasts linked: Citizen's group

Both Nanded blasts linked: Citizen's group

Akshaya Mukul, 25 Feb, 2007 TIMES NEWS NETWORK

NEW DELHI: Is there a link between the blast in Nanded in February and the Nanded blast of 2006? An investigation by the Concerned Citizens Inquiry — led by Justice (retired) B G Kolse Patil of Mumbai High Court, Teesta Setalvad, Arvind Deshmukh and explosives experts — has concluded that the two blasts are linked, besides refuting claims that this month's explosion was an accident.

The inquiry team — on the basis of narco-analysis test of accused of the first Nanded blast, which clearly revealed that they had links with RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal — has demanded an independent probe since narco-analysis revealed a questionable design on part of the investigating authorities not to explore the root cause. The Concerned Citizens Inquiry (CCI) thinks there is a definite link between the two blasts as well as those in Parbhani, Purna and Aurangabad.

After studying the February blast, the CCI concluded that the severity of the explosion proved it was due to unstable liquid and not short-circuit as is being claimed. CCI also found loopholes in the way complaint about the blast was changed twice. It has also raised questions about the haste with which police, without waiting for the forensic report, ruled out explosion due to liquid. If it was really a short-circuit, Setalvad asked, how come the police did not ask MSEB officials to find out the reasons for it. Police inaction in the recent blast and narco-analysis report of last year's blast has made the CCI team question the working of RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal in the area.

In the 2006 blast, even before narco-analysis, forensic examination had found traces of liquid explosives.

The bomb was a mixture of metallic aluminium, elemental sulphur and potassium nitrate. Nineteen accused were arrested while two died. According to Setalvad, 11 of the accused have been freed and the rest are in the process of getting released. In all cases, state police has not contested bail.

During narco-analysis, accused Sanjay alias Bahurao Vithalrao Choudhari had said that he and three other accused — Maroti Wagh, Rahul Manoharao Pande and Yogesh Ravindra Vidholkar — were trained in bomb-making at the Akash resort at Sinhagad, Pune. He said that one Himanshu, who died in the blast, was the brain behind the conspiracy and wanted to take revenge as "terrorists like Abu Salem had carried out blasts at Gateway of India, Mumbai, killing lots of innocent people".

Himanshu, Sanjay said, had "decided to take revenge by carrying out blasts and killing at least 300-400 Muslims". He added, "The bomb that was kept at Naresh's (also killed) residence was to be planted at Aurangabad Masjid near the railway station on Id day. The plan to carry out blasts in Aurangabad was triggered by the Varanasi blasts. Himanshu was carrying out his action after receiving orders over phone from a senior leader… Himanshu had a separate SIM card for receiving orders."

Sanjay said he had also received a call, "where the caller said not to be afraid" and that he would get him "released from jail at the earliest". Sanjay said, "That caller was from Bajrang Dal and he was Balaji Pakhare."

Narco-analysis of Rahul Manoharao Pande also revealed that VHP leaders were helping them out.