Another witness in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case has taken a U-turn saying that he was pressurized by the Maharashtra ATS to name RSS leaders in this case. The witness has denied having given the earlier statements voluntarily. The witness has told the court on Thursday in Mumbai that the Maharashtra ATS had tortured him to take the names of RSS leaders during the probe. Citing this, Judge P R Sitre of the special court for National Investigation Agency (NIA) has declared him hostile.
Till now, 222 witnesses have been examined in this case. Out of these, 17 witnesses have refused to support the prosecution and turned hostile. The witness told the special court on Thursday that the ATS had taken him to custody repeatedly and he was tortured to name the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leaders in the Malegaon bomb blast case. According to the witness, he is not an RSS member. He also said that he does not know any of the RSS leaders.
“They wanted me to take RSS members’ names and take anyone’s name who is not from their association. They hit me every day while I was detained but today I’m courageous to speak the truth. Mumbai ATS even threatened that if I spoke the truth, they’d kill me,” the witness reportedly told the court.
Before this, another prosecution witness had similarly taken his old statement back saying that he was pressurized by the ATS to name Yogi Adityanath and four other RSS leaders.
On 29th September 2008, an explosive device attached to a motorcycle blew off near a mosque in Malegaon. Six people were killed while 100 others were injured in this incident. BJP MP from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Major Ramesh Upadhyay (Retired), Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, and Sameer Kulkarni are the accused in this case. However, by now several witnesses have revealed that Mumbai ATS used the incident to frame the BJP and RSS leaders, while they were not involved in the attack.
Malegaon is situated in Nashik district of Maharashtra and it is a town known for being communally sensitive. Recently, when fake news of disrespecting the Quran in Tripura had appeared, Muslims of this town had called for a bandh and the situation had become sensitive when the Hindus reacted back to this term dictating approach of the local Muslims.