Engg student key player in Goa blast

NIA says larger conspiracy yet to be unearthed

Ashtekar is among the four right-wing Sanantan Sanstha men who are currently in jail here. Of the 11 accused in the case, five are absconding and two died in the October 16 Margao blast last year when the improvised explosive device (IED) went off prematurely.
According to the chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Ashtekar “googled” the net for circuit diagrams of IEDs. These were passed on to Sai PCB Shop, Kolhapur, which supplied him with printed circuit boards. He got 18 PCBs made from four different designs between July and September 2009.

Ashtekar also shopped for alarm clocks and other electrical accessories from outlets around Ichalkaranji. But he travelled all the way to Mumbai to buy two transistors at Lamington Road.

Investigators found Ashtekar’s handwriting on all the five IEDs that were to be planted in Goa by Sanatan “sadaks” on Diwali eve. They also recovered evidence of the assembled crude bombs from his rented bungalow at Ichalkaranji.  

According to the NIA, in June 2009 Ashtekar spent more than 10 days at the Sanatan Ashram in Ramnathi, Goa, sharing a room with Malgonda Patil “close to the room of Jayanth Athawale” (the founder of the hard-core saffron organisation). Patil who was a Sanatan administrator, died while transporting an IED on his scooter.

Though the NIA does not categorically say it, the chargesheet implies the plot was hatched at the Sanatan Ashram.

Ashtekar is not the only well -educated man involved in the Sanatan’s subversive plot. Also in jail is Vinay Talekar, 28, an MBA from Goa Universtiy who worked in a five-star hotel and Dilip Mangaoknar who ran the Sanatan’s martial arts training camp.

Talekar was to lead a second group of “sadaks” who had been assigned the job of planting IEDs in three other locations in Goa, says the NIA.

They planted one in a mini lorry parked outside Shantadurga temple, Sancoale which was defused by the police after being alerted by the driver.

The NIA says the custodial interrogation of the five absconding members of the conspiracy, including accused No 7, Jaiprakash alias Anna of Mangalore, is required to unearth the larger conspiracy of this case.

All 11 accused face charges of sabotage, and indulging in terrorist acts.

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