MUMBAI: Two more suspects in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case were sprung to freedom on bail by a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here on Tuesday.
The release of Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sudhakar Dwivedi follows the bail given to key accused Lt. Colonel Prasad Purohit Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in the last two months.
Altogether 14 were accused of participating in the terror blast in Malegaon in which six people were killed and nearly 100 others were injured on September 29, 2008. Of them, only three -- Ramesh Upadhyaya, Samir Kulkarni and Rakesh Dhawade –remain in jail.
Lt Col. Purohit was granted bail by the Supreme Court on August 23 after eight years in custody. Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur managed to secure bail from the Bombay High Court earlier this year.
Twelve people, including Thakur and Purohit, were arrested in connection with the blast, which occurred when a bomb chained to a motorcycle went off in Malegaon, a Muslim-dominated town. All the accused were booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
According to the charge sheets filed by the NIA, Sudhakar Chaturvedi was arrested after RDX was recovered from his house. That discovery led to the implication of Lt. Colonel Prasad Purohit in the plot. Sudhakar Dwivedi, also known as Dayanand Pandey, a self-styled godman, was suspected to be the key conspirator behind the attack.
Dwivedi was running an ashram at Jammu and was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in November 2008 from Kanpur. He first met with Lt Col Purohit in Jammu in 2003 and they allegedly drew up a plan for the Malegaon blasts, the investigating agency had said in the charge sheet