Goa forms SIT to crack blast case

Goa forms SIT to crack blast case

Margao attack: Pune ATS to assist probe

Goa forms SIT to crack blast case

The police said the improvised explosive device (IED) had been put together by technical experts.

Patil hailed from Sangli, but had been living in the Goa Sanathan ashram at Ramnathi, Ponda for four years, working in its administration. He and Naik have been listed as accused in the case. “We are looking for a Sangli connection in this case,” Goa  Home Minister Ravi Naik told Deccan Herald. The police said the markings on the gelatin stick gave them a fair idea that they had been procured from outside Goa.

A team of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Pune, also arrived here on Sunday to assist the Goa police in the investigation. Five persons from the Sanathan’s Ramnathi ashram, which has become the national headquarters of the right-wing group, were interrogated by the ATS at the police headquarters in Margao. They  include  ashram administrator Virendra Marathe and Sanathan Prabhats group editor Prithviraj Hazare.

The state police also searched the office of Sanathan’s Marathi newspaper at Nesar, Margao.

The police said the Sanathan men had planned to plant four bombs around Margao during the Deepavali festivities to cause maximum damage during the crowded evening procession. The intention was to cause communal tension, DIG Ravindra Yadav said. In a cruel twist of fate, one of the IEDs went off as Patil and Naik were parking the scooter just a few metres away from Grace church. Two other similar devices were found near the scooter later.

Just a lane away, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and South Goa SP Allen De Sa were on the dais watching the floats. This happened at 9:45 pm. An hour later, an alert driver watching another procession at Sancoale, about 10 km away, found another ticking IED planted in his pick-up cabin. He threw the bag into the field and informed the police. The police managed to get crucial details of the Sanathan connection from Patil’s dying statement. 

He told the police that he lived in the ashram, was from Sangli and had been to Pune, Thane and Malegao. His mobile number was traced to the ashram. Naik,  who is in hospital in a critical condition, is a teacher in a school for deaf and dumb children run by a Hindu organisation.