Lone Hindu arrested accused in NIA custody

Over a year after nine Muslim youth were granted bail in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, a special holiday court remanded Sunday Manohar Kumar (27) in NIA custody till January 8.

NIA told special Judge G A Sanap Manohar was a bomb-planter. He is the first Hindu accused arrested for the blasts, which, state police alleged, were handiwork of the banned SIMI.

The Muslim youth were granted bail last year after the disclosure by Swami Aseemanand, accused of the Malegaon 2008 blasts. NIA, which claims to have started a re-investigation in 2011, is, however, yet to give a clean chit to them.

Manohar, detained on Friday at Hathod near Indore in Madhya Pradesh, was brought to Mumbai on a transit remand Sunday morning.

"Preliminary investigation and a confession obtained from another accused of the 2007 Samjhauta blast show Manohar was present at the blast site. The agency has evidence to establish his role in conspiracy and transport of explosives," said NIA counsel Rohini Salian.

The serial blasts in Malegaon on September 8, 2006, killed more than 30 and injured 200.

NIA sources said Samjhauta blast accused Rajendra Chaudhary, who has allegedly led the agency to two others, will be produced before a special MCOCA court on January 3.

Chaudhary is allegedly the main conspirator who planned and executed the 2006 blasts.

In the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, NIA has arrested 14 persons. The agency is checking if the 2008 and 2006 blasts are linked.

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