Mumbai: A special court on Tuesday framed charges against seven right wing extremists in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. With that, the decks have been cleared for a full-fledged trial of all the accused, including Pragya Singh Thakur, Col. SP Purohit and others, who are charged for murder, spreading terror, inciting enmity between two communities and criminal conspiracy.
A delayed decision, the framing of charges has come after more than a decade since the bomb blast in Malegaon, which killed six and left hundreds injured. Special Judge VS Padalkar framed charges against Pragya, Purohit and also against Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni.
“The Abhinav Bharat organisation was formed with a common objective to spread terrorism and a bomb with RDX was planted on a motorcycle in Malegaon. The accused persons came together to hatch a conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and procured explosives to further their conspiracy,” said special Judge Padalkar, while framing charges against all the seven accused. The court is designated to hear special cases under the National Investigation Agency Act.
According to the prosecution case, a bomb was planted with RDX on a motorcycle — which was registered in the name of Sadhvi — on 29 September 2008, in a bid to extract revenge from Muslims. The blasts, according to the prosecution, were executed by the Abhinav Bharat group, which wanted to set up a government in exile and form a ‘Hindu Rashtra.’
Even as the court framed the extremists for their conspiracy to set up a Hindu Rashtra, Sadhvi Pragya, who came to the court after several years, was seen chanting ‘Jai Hindu Rashtra’ outside the court. “I was given a clean chit by NIA but now the court has framed charges against me. This was a conspiracy by the then Congress government against Hindus. No Hindus are terrorists. In the end, the truth will win,” Sadhvi told the media outside the court.
In the case of Sadhvi, who was given a clean chit by the NIA in May 2016, the special court, while framing charges, has relied on the charge sheet filed by the earlier probe agency, the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
CHARGES AGAINST ACCUSED
Murder • Attempt to murder •
Causing explosions • Possessing explosives • Causing grievous hurt with dangerous weapons
•Inciting enmity between two communities • Terrorist act
•Conspiring and recruiting people for a terrorist act