Swami Asimanand sent to CBI custody till Dec 18

The XIV Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court here allowed Swaminand's custody from tomorrow, though the investigation agency had requested permission to allow it to further interrogate him for an additional 15-day period.

Asimanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, who is presently under judicial custody till December 14, was arrested by CBI on November 19 from Haridwar in connection with the blast at the historic Mecca Masjid here on May 18, 2007. Nine persons were killed in the explosion.

The court, earlier on November 26, had remanded the 59-year-old Asimanand in seven-day CBI custody. CBI counsel P Vikram had contended that the accused had to be confronted with statements of other witnesses and documents as during the previous course of interrogation he did not reveal the facts due to his weak memory.

It was necessary to take him to Gujarat and other places for interrogation, he said. The CBI also asked for custodial interrogation of the accused to elicit "conspiracy" between Asimanand and other accused in the blast case. However, the defence counsel had opposed police custody saying it would serve no purpose as Asimanand did not reveal any facts during interrogation.

After considering contention of both the parties, magistrate K Sudhakar today allowed the CBI petition saying it was necessary to confront the swami with the statements of other witnesses and documents.

He directed that the investigating officer should not use third degree method of investigation against the accused.

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