Free Press Journal

Get to the root of Malegaon ATS ‘killings’

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The controversial Malegaon blasts case dating back to December 2008 has taken a strange turn with a former officer of Maharashtra’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS) claiming that two key accused in the case were not missing but had, in fact, been killed by the ATS on the sly on December 26, 2008. The officer in question, police inspector Mehboob Mujawar who was placed under suspension three years ago, claims that Ramchandra Kalsangre and Sandeep Dange, who are currently shown as wanted, were killed by ATS officials and said he had filed an application and submitted evidence before the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Solapur on August 19, 2016.

An improvised explosive device (IED) hidden in a motorcycle had gone off on September 29, 2008, in Malegaon town killing six people and injuring 101. The ATS had arrested several people including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, and Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit in this connection and filed a charge sheet against 14 people, including Kalsangre and Dange. Mujawar alleged that three senior officials of the Maharashtra police — two retired DGs and one high ranking serving IPS official — tried to suppress information about the killings.

Mujawar claimed that he was sent to Karnataka by the ATS to try and find the missing duo, though they had been killed. He further claimed that since he was against the killings, a fake case under the arms act was filed against him in Solapur (April 15, 2009) to silence him. Subsequently, he was arrested on April 17. The killing of Kalsangre and Sandeep Dange are very serious allegations that need to be investigated threadbare. If true, exemplary punishment needs to be meted out to the perpetrators of the killings. Indeed, the families of the deceased must be duly compensated for the ghastly killings and for keeping them in the dark for so many years.