NIA unearths Sanatan links

The central agency has also detected links between the operatives used in the Goa case and the Sangli riots in Maharashtra in September 2009.

The Margao court on Wednesday turned down the bail plea by Dilip Mangaonkar, one of the four accused in the case on grounds that the central agency has only recently taken over the case and needed time to “unearth the larger conspiracy”.

The Goa government transferred the case to the NIA last month after initial investigations pointed to a larger security threat involving players in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat

Pointing out that it is crucial that a thorough investigation is done, Judge P V Kamat said the NIA was still in the early stages of the probe and would need time to get to the root of the conspiracy, and get to those who had master-minded the plot. Those “instrumental behind the blast, the financial assistance and the supply of the detonators have to be ascertained,” he said.

Mangaonkar, a resident of Bicholim, North Goa, worked as a karate instructor at the Sanatan’s Ramathi ashram in Ponda. He has been denied bail for the second time by the courts. The three other accused, also members of the Sanatan, did not approach the courts.

Conspiracy

Public prosecutor Sarojni Sardinha told the court that the accused was part of the conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and there was enough evidence to link him to the plot - the acquisition of material used for fabricating the low intensity explosives (IEDs) as well as its prior test run at an isolated spot at Ponda.

She said the NIA had detected that the four accused were members of 27 other trusts as well which had links to the Sanatan.

The central agency has begun probing bank accounts and funds transfer to the right-wing organisation. Both the source and use of the funds have to be thoroughly investigated, she said.

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