Mumbai, Sep 25
BJP MP and one of the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, Pragya Singh Thakur, and five other co-accused appeared before a special NIA court here on Monday, a defence lawyer said.
They were summoned to the special NIA court to record their statements under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), said Thakur’s lawyer, J.P. Mishra.
“However, since another accused, Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Swami Amrutanand Shankaracharya, was absent, the court adjourned the matter to October 3. All the accused shall remain present on the next date to record their statements and the process could go on for up to two or three months,” said Mishra.
The development came after the prosecution informed the Special Judge on September 14 that the process of recording of evidence in the case was completed and no more prosecution witnesses needed to be examined in the 15-year old terror strike case.
Mishra said that once the recording of evidence is completed by the prosecution, the court records the statements of the accused under CrPC Section 313.
The special court will question the accused on various aspects of the case and grant them an opportunity to personally explain any specific circumstances in the evidence against them, he said.
On Monday, besides Thakur, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Ajay Rahirkar and Sameer Kulkarni were present in the court, which issued a bailable warrant of Rs 5,000 against Dwivedi for his absence.
It may be recalled that around nine persons were killed and over a 100 were injured in the blast triggered by an explosive attached to a motorcycle near a mosque in Malegaon on September 29, 2008, sparking panic in the minority-dominated town in Nashik district.
The politically sensitive case was first probed by the Nashik Police, then the Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took it over in 2011.
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