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An Inside Narrative of

Nanded Blast

December 27, 2006,  Aleem Faizee


This article was published in December 2006, after the writer had visited Nanded with the Tehelka team. Tehelka had carried the story in the same month on the expose.


A blast victim in September 2006 (File Photo)


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On April 06, 2006 midnight at around 01:30 AM a powerful explosion took place in the middle class locality in the Nanded at the residence of RSS worker Laxman Rajkondawar a retired irrigation engineer. The blast killed his son 29-year old Naresh Rajkondawar and 31-year old Himanshu Panse. Three others were seriously injured and one injured Rahul Pande escaped from the site but was later caught by the police.


The blast was so powerful that the bodies of the two persons have turned in pieces and there were severe marks caused on the roof and walls of the rooms. The glasses of the windows were broken and the cooler attached with the window was severely damaged and was thrown some 15 feet away from the window. Blood was found all around with the floor and walls of the rooms all colored with the blood.


The FIR was filed at around 05:00 AM on April 06, 2006 in the morning saying that Naresh, the deceased, had the business of firecrackers and the unsold stock of firecrackers resulted into an explosion due to carelessness and negligence and denied any bomb-making or terrorist activity.


No newspaper had highlighted the gravity of the incident and just reported this blast as some minor blasts caused by the firecrackers as the initial police reports suggested. The otherwise very alert electronic media also did not bother to report this incident.


How the things changed:

Allegedly the police tried to cover up the whole incident by treating it as a minor blast caused by firecrackers. But things started to change very fast. Laxman Rajkondawar at whose residence the blast took place was known to be RSS activist in the locality and a Bajrangdal flag was used to fly high on the top of his house. BJP MP DB Patil, Shiv Sena’s Prakash Kaudge and Milind Ektate, VHP’s Navin Bhat Thakkar and Bajrangdal’s Sanjay Kodge visited the injured. Reportedly this was the first group who visited the hospital immediately after the blast. Their visit only confirmed deceased’s affiliation with these organizations. They issued condolence statements and stating that the deceased were active workers of their organizations, participated in their funerals.


The first clear clue came when one of the accused Rahul Pande who was also present at the site and had fled from the site despite injuries, was arrested from Pusad, a nearby city.


Police started their investigations afresh and property search was conducted on the said site along with some other homes of the alleged sympathizers and workers of Sangh Parivar. One live bomb along with ten live rounds of 7.65 mm, generally used in rifles, were found along with the maps highlighting a particular mosque, fake beard and outfits used by Muslim.


Special IG Gupta in a press conference on April 07, 2006 clearly stated that the site was actually used for bomb making and the deceased and the injured were active members of Bajrangdal.


The FIR was also revised and filed again on April 09, 2006 admitting that the place was actually used for bomb making and termed the whole incident as a pre-planned conspiracy. The FIR also said that the bombs were supposed to be used for social destruction of community somewhere and for spreading disturbances between different communities. The FIR also gave the details of the accused and their consequent arrests.


Even after these developments and some strong material as well as circumstantial evidence, it is alleged that police is not taking proper actions and the sections leveled against the accused are such that the accused can get bail easily. It is also alleged that the police is working under pressure and some reports also suggest Sangh leaders warning of dire consequences if any action is taken against the accused. One of the accused Sanjay Choudhary has even admitted receiving the phone calls from his leaders saying not to worry about and the assurance that they would be released very soon.


Things remain the same and police after initial investigations kept silence, demand for independent inquiry of the whole incident grew and the writ petition were filed by some local activist seeking CBI inquiry of the Naded blast.


The Inquiry handed over to ATS:

With the writ petition seeking CBI inquiry already in the High Court ATS started the investigations and Anil J. Tamaichekar, ACP ATS, submitted his report with some very astonishing and mind blowing evidence before the chief judicial magistrate first class.


According to the report filed by Anil J Tamaichekar, the police suspected the role of the above mentioned Sangh Parivar members in the bomb blasts from the diary of one of the suspects Maroti Wagh which contained their details. Apart from this, the police also recovered a photo album, a RSS diary, a cultural newsletter, and various documents belonging to the Sangh Parivar – all proving their affiliations with the organization. These photos were taken when Himanshu visited Aurangabad in 2004 with his friends, including the photograph of the mosque, taken from all sides. The police also recovered a map in which the Aurangabad mosque was marked. The police also recovered fake beard from Himanshu’s house.


The Investigating Officer further added that influenced by the radical ideologies of the Sangh, Himanshu along with Manohar Pande started a gymnasium named Power Zone, with sole purpose of attracting Hindu youths and to persuade them to join their movement against the Muslims. Soon after, Himanshu and Wagh opened a Sangh branch in Nanded’s Bajrangnagar. Another accused Yogesh started an orphanage under the banner of RSS.


ACP further wrote in his reports that these accused used Hindu festivals like Gudi Padwa (Marathi New Year), Vijay Dashami, Durga Puja, Ganeshotsav, Ram Navami amongst others to propagate anti-Muslim ideologies. They cited instances like killing of cow for meat, terror attacks on Hindu temples like Vaishno Devi and Akshardham.


Soon after the accused received training to handle IEDs by Mithun, Himanshu moved to Goa and underwent training with VHP and Bajrangdal for two years. Then he along with other co-accused Maroti Wagh undertook training at Bhosla Military School Nagpur for 40 days. He returned to Pune in 2003 and executed bomb blast at Mohammadia Masjid, Parbhani.


On wee hours of April 6, they began assembling the bomb at the residence of Laxman Gudya Rajkondawar and Naresh Rajkondawar. After the bomb went off accidentally, the survivors claimed that the blast was due to the firecrackers, for deliberately misguiding the police. They were aware of the danger involved and thus had pre-decided this firecracker theory, which was evident from the fact that the accused had illegally stockpiled large quantity of firecrackers. They had prepared two IEDs from the explosives at their disposal, which was to be used for terrorist activities to inflict maximum casualty, the ACP said in the report.


On April 5, Naresh called up Vinod Kamtikar on mobile number 9822297494. He informed that Maroti Keshav Wagh would be coming to Aurangabad by High Court Express. He told Kamtikar to keep a motorcycle ready for helping in execution of the task. Following this conversation, Kamtikar kept a motorcycle with one Suresh Kadam. Then at around 12.15 am on April 6, Naresh again called up Kamtikar and told him that due to some reasons Maruti Wagh “won’t be reaching Aurangabad today but certainly reach tomorrow. So keep the motorcycle ready for tomorrow” the ACP said. This proved that the accused had definite plans for exploding a bomb at some mosque to incite communal tension, he added.


However, the bomb exploded while being assembled. Sources say that possibly the timer bomb clock was mistakenly set at 01.50 am instead of 1.50 pm.


Narco Analysis and Polygraphist Examination:

This shocking fact is revealed from the confessions made by Nanded blast accused during their Narco analysis and brain mapping. The Narco analysis report reveals that the accused were specially trained and funded by VHP and Bajrangdal to execute bomb blasts at mosques in Jalna, Parbhani (2003) and Purna (in 2004). It was also discovered that the bomb, which exploded in the house of a RSS member was meant to be exploded at the Aurangabad Mosque near railway station, after the Friday prayers.


According to the Narco Analysis test report dated 19 July, Forensic Science Laboratory Madivala, Bangalore on Sanjay alias Bhaurao Vithalrao Choudhary, accused in the Parbhani and Nanded blasts had said that he was involved with Himanshu Panse (who died in Nanded blast) with three others Maroti Wagh (injured), Rahul Manohar Pande (injured) and Yogesh Ravindra Widulkar (injured).


All of them received training at Akasha Resort in Sinhagad, Pune in 2003. They were trained in making of three types of bombs for around two-three days.


He further revealed that Himanshu wanted to avenge the deaths of innocent people in terror attacks, which were masterminded by underworld dons Abu Salem and Dawood Ibrahim but they remained elusive. The latter was most pained with the India Gate and Varanasi blasts. In fact the impact of Varanasi blast prompted him to plan blast in Aurangabad. Himanshu thought that only way to take revenge would be to target the Muslim population and by doing so they (suspects) would safeguard Hindutva. Thus they decided to take revenge by executing bomb blasts in Muslim dominated areas, which would kill at least 300-400 Muslims. They would be treated as hijras if they failed to take any action.


The bomb that was prepared in Nanded at the residence of Naresh Laxman Rajkondawar (dead) was meant to trigger blast at Aurangabad. Himanshu was operating on the basis of orders received by him over the cell phone from his superiors. He had a separate SIM card for receiving the orders. Sanjay also revealed that he too got a call from a local Bajrangdal leader named Balaji Pakharea resident of Bajrangnagar, in Nanded. The caller had told him not to feel afraid and will get him released from the jail at the earliest.


In another Narco Analysis report of Nanded blast accused Rahul Manohar Pande said that the all other suspects present in Naresh’s house viz Himanshu, Naresh himself, Maroti, Yogesh and Gururaj Jairam Tuptewar (injured) were all his friends. Himanshu was the leader of the group, who prepared the bomb. He told that all the blasts of recent past in the Marathwada region - Jalna, Purna and Parbhani were planned by Himanshu, and he had also accompanied Himanshu for the Jalna blast. They were supported by Nanded-based VHP leader Govind Puranik and Abhay Madhukar and Atul Vinodrao Kamtikar from Aurangabad, all members of RSS, VHP and Bajrangdal combined. He even named top VHP leader Praveen Togadia in his statement saying that Togadia had once visited them and delivered speech. Guru had collected around Rs. 45,000-50,000 to conduct the blasts.


Regarding the preparation of the bombs, Sanjay said during his Narco test that they were trained in Improvised Explosive Device (IED) by one Mithun Chakraworty based in Pune. They were trained in making Pipe Bomb, in which water pipe coupling (similar to one found at Nanded blast site) is cut open and filled with explosives after mixing it with iron pieces and thrown at the target. The second type was thread bomb and the third was timer bomb.


Describing Mithun, he said that Himanshu used to call him as Sir. He was tall, well-built and sported a beard. He also said that Mithun had given a bag containing explosives at the Pune Railway Station, after completion of training.


The Allegations:

However, in spite of all these available evidences, the accused are being treated leniently. “After the initial contradictory statements made by the local police, where initially they said the explosion was due to fire crackers, then changed the statement and called it an explosion due to live bomb. Even no arrests were made in the initial stages. Soon after the blast, the local; authorities rushed in a fire engine which began spraying water inside the house. This was done in spite of the fact that there was no fire as such. Many crucial circumstantial evidence were washed away,” says Altaf Ahmed of Majlis Ittehad-Ul-Muslimeen (MIM), Nanded.


Losing faith over the way investigations were being handled by the local police, the MIM appealed to higher authorities seven of the MIM members filed two criminal writ petitions (no 248 and 261) demanding CBI inquiry in the whole incidence. The Government handed over the investigations to ATS, which arrested as many as 21 persons. It sought the permission of District Magistrate for submission of charge sheet against these accused on 29 July.


“Surprisingly the ATS has withdrawn the case as per section 69 of CRPC, against 11 accused persons just two weeks after it sought the permission for filing the charge sheet against 21 accused stating unavailability of adequate evidence against the accused. Hence the role of ATS is also doubtful now,” Altaf says.


Altaf further adds that during the investigations, material evidence has been recovered from the 11 accused for whom the ATS had pleaded for discharge. False charge sheet was filed on 24 August before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Nanded.


Questioning the motive of ATS, Altaf says that in spite of clearly stating that the accused were involved in terrorist activities and were also history sheeters. Instead of booking the accused under MCOCA and National Security Act, they were charged under such sections in which they can be set free easily.


On representation to higher authorities by way of representation dated May 9 and June 27, the Prime Minister’s Office issued “necessary directions vide outward No. 14/03/2006-PMP-4/82968 dated July 20 to Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra and directions by the Deputy Secretary to the Governor (Maharashtra State) to the Deputy Secretary to the Government, Home Department, Mantralaya Mumbai vide No GSA/03/2006/1957 dated July 31 (all documents available with Theawaz.com), the officials have not yet taken any cognizance and they have chosen to remain silent in the matter.


Now even the hopes of CBI inquiry has been dashed as the premiere investigating agency replying to a writ petition filed by one Saleem Ahmed, before the High Court Aurangabad bench, has in an affidavit expressed its inability to conduct the inquiry. “The CBI is already overburdened and have limited hands to deal with such cases if entrusted by this honorable court,” Surinder Paul, Superintendent of Police, CBI, Special Crime Branch, Navi Mumbai said in the affidavit.


Incensed with this approach by CBI, Altaf says, “The point raised by CBI that it is overburdened and has limited hands to deal with such case is most irrelevant. And this cannot be a valid ground to discard the relief to the petitioners for investigating the case through CBI. Also, the Bench was yet to declare its verdict regarding handing over the investigations to CBI and it was not the party in this case. Yet, they submitted the affidavit before the court. Filing such a suo moto affidavit without notice of Honorable High Court is also highly objectionable in a pending judicial proceeding. This shows nothing but an effort to support the tardy investigation being conducted by the state police and ATS.”







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