India

Another Malegaon blast accused, Sameer Kulkarni, gets bail

Kulkarni is the fourth accused after Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and retired Army Major Ramesh Upadhyay to get bail

 

Mumbai: A sessions court in Mumbai on Wednesday granted bail to Sameer Kulkarni, an accused arrested for his alleged involvement in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case.

The court granted Kulkarni bail on a bond of Rs 50,000 on the grounds of parity, as several other accused in the case including Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and retired Army Major Ramesh Upadhyay, have already been given bail.

With this, seven of the eight accused in the case have been granted bail since the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed its charge sheet in the case in 2016.

Six persons were killed and nearly 100 injured when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle exploded in Malegaon town of Nashik district on September 29, 2008.

The NIA had opposed the bail plea.

Kulkarni, a printing press employee from Bhopal, was arrested soon after the blast.

According to the prosecution, he is alleged to have arranged chemicals used in the blast.

It was also alleged that Kulkarni had been to Indore and Nashik to attend meetings in which the conspiracy was hatched.

Kulkarni has claimed that there was no evidence against him and that he had been falsely implicated. He further submitted that he has been behind bars for nearly nine years without the trial commencing.

According to the NIA charge sheet, which described Kulkarni as a social worker, Kulkarni was also a part of various meetings along with the other accused, including one held in Faridabad where the formation of a ‘Hindu government’ at the Centre was allegedly discussed.

The NIA charge sheet claimed that Kulkarni had discussed “about taking revenge for the atrocities committed by the Muslims on Hindus”. The NIA had also claimed that after the arrest of Pragya Singh Thakur on October 24, 2008, accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit sent a text to Kulkarni saying that the ATS had entered his house in Pune.

Purohit then allegedly directed him to delete his numbers from his phone. According to the NIA, this proved Kulkarni’s involvement in the case.

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