NIA files chargesheet against 11 in blast case

NIA files chargesheet against 11 in blast case

Seven accused in Goa explosion absconding

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday filed a chargesheet against 11 Sanatan Sanstha members in the Goa blast case, accusing them of entering into a criminal conspiracy to wage war against the country. 

Among the persons named in the chargesheet filed before the South Goa Session Court in Margao, two died in the October 16, 2009, blast, four are under arrest, and seven are absconding.

The 30-page chargesheet supported by 4,000 pages of supplementary documents has listed 250 witnesses who will be examined in the case. SP

S Vijayan, the NIA’s chief investigating officer said the probe was still on, and more supplementaries were likely to be filed before the court.

The NIA took over the case in November last year after investigators unearthed its links to Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat.

The accused have been charged under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 121-A (waging war against India) of the IPC read with Sections 16, 17, 18, 23 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Sections 3,4 and 5 of Explosive Substance Act 1908.

Among those chargesheeted were Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik who were killed when the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) they were intending to plant in Margao on Diwali eve, accidentally blew up. The NIA describes Patil and Naik as ‘sadaks’ of the ultra-right Sanatan Sanstha.

Vinay Talekar, Vinayak Patil, Dhananjay Ashtekar and Dilip Mangaonkar, among the prime accused, were arrested in November last year and are still in jail. Those absconding are Rudra Patil of Sangli, Sarang Akolkar of Pune, Jaiprakash alias Anna of Kittur, Mangalore, Prashant Juvekar of Maharashtra, and Prashant Ashtekar of Ratnagiri.

Investigators said Dhananjay Ashtekar (20) from Ratnagiri, who figures in the chargesheet as accused No 5, prepared 12 circuits, five of which he brought to Goa in August 2009. On August 24 and 25 last year, test IEDs were prepared and exploded in a wooded area at Telaulim, Ponda.

This is not far from the Sanatan Ramnathi ashram. The test run was conducted just weeks ahead of the series of blasts planned for Goa. Ten of the 11 chargesheeted converged at the house of Laxmikanth Naik, the brother of Yogesh Naik who died in the blast, to assemble the IEDs. The chargesheet said two of the other accused bought cell phones and sim cards using forged documents in Margao. The NIA calls the Sanatan Sanstha an organisation with extreme interest in Hindu religion.