Surveyed Malegaon week before ’06 blasts, ‘admits’ accused

FP

The four men who allegedly planted the bombs that exploded in Malegaon on September 8, 2006, had done a thorough recce of their target sites a week before the attacks, one of the men is learnt to have told interrogators.

Dhan Singh has told NIA investigators that he visited Malegaon along with Ramji Kalsangra, Rajender Choudhary and Amit alias Prince on September 1, and left for Indore the same evening after recceing the target locations. Despite encountering each other several times, the men apparently did not speak to each other during the trip.

In preparation for the attack a week later, Ramji, allegedly the main conspirator, bought some cloth bags and skullcaps in the textile town.

Dhan Singh was arrested in Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh's Satna district on December 17, 2012, two days after Choudhary was picked up in Ujjain district, also in Madhya Pradesh. Ramji and Amit alias Prince, who is also known as Ashwani Chauhan, are absconding.

Singh, an RSS worker from Indore, is learnt to have told NIA that Ramji trained him and the other two men at a camp organised by RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi in Bagli village near Dewas in the first half of 2006. It was at this camp that the alleged Hindu extremist group zeroed in on Malegaon as their target.

Sunil Joshi was murdered in Dewas on December 29, 2007. Investigations have linked Dhan Singh, Choudhary, Ramji and Amit to Joshi, Swami Aseemanand, Kamal Chouhan and Lokesh Sharma in a ring of Hindu extremists thought to have been involved in the Malegaon (September 2006), Samjhauta (February 2007), Mecca Masjid (May 2007) and Ajmer Dargah (October 2007) attacks.

The Indian Express reported last month that Choudhary had also allegedly confessed to have shot at Delhi University professor S A R Geelani in February 2005, apparently to avenge the 2001 attack on Parliament. Lokesh Sharma had accompanied him during the attack on Geelani, Choudhary told NIA.

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