the National Investigating Agency (NIA) takes over the probe into
the Diwali bomb blast in Goa, police in the state says they have
found links between the Sanatan Sanstha members blamed for the blast
and the Hindu extremists of Abhinav Bharat accused in the September
2008 Malegaon bomb blast, reports The Indian Express.
According to the
Express report, the
Goa Police investigation have unearthed phone records to show that
some key members of the two Hindu groups had been in touch in the
past and this was one of the reasons for the case to be handed over
to the NIA, sources here said. The NIA took over the investigation
on December 17.
can only say that this case has links with Sadhvi (Pragya) and
Colonel (Shrikant) Purohit,” The Indian Express has quoted
Goa’s Inspector-General of Police K D Singh as saying. “There is
evidence... It would be inappropriate to share more information as
the case has now been handed over to the National Investigating
Sources in Goa Police said that they found the links when
investigating the backgrounds of Malgounda Patil and Yogesh Naik,
the two Sanatan members who were killed after one of the three bombs
they were allegedly planting at a Diwali celebration in Margao went
off on the night of October 16.
“When we checked call records from January this year, we found that
he was in touch with a close family member of Purohit. After
analysing call records before January 2009, we found calls between
Patil and Sadhvi Pragya before the (Malegaon) blast,” one officer
Investigators also suspect that Patil may have been in touch with
Purohit. Patil is believed to have had several mobile phone SIMs
procured using fake identity documents.
“This is probably one of the reasons why Patil managed to evade
investigating agencies in the past,” the officer said, adding that
at least one of Patil’s SIMs had been procured using a fake voter ID
card bearing the picture of a lawyer working with the state law
“Patil was the managing trustee of a trust which had more than 70
bank accounts across the country and also had connections all over
the country. The money collected in the name of religion was
deposited in his account. Since the accounts are spread across the
country, it would be appropriate for NIA to investigate where the
money was spent,” the officer said.
Police have since arrested 28-year-old Vinay Talekar, who had an MBA
in Human Resources and was working with a local five-star hotel, and
an alleged accomplice, Vinayak Patil.
have also picked up Dhananjay Ashtekar who was studying engineering
in Kolhapur district in Maharashtra, and Dilip Mangaonkar, who had
links with the Sanstha. While Talekar and Vinayak Patil have been
accused of planting the fourth bomb in Sancaole town near Margaon,
Ashtekar is suspected of helping assemble the explosives.
Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur and Col.
Purohit are among 11 Abhinav Bharat members arrested in connection
with the September 29, 2008, Malegaon blast in which six people were
The Indian Express had earlier reported that Malgounda Patil
was also said to have been in touch with Sanatan member Vikram Bhave,
who was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad last year
in connection with the crude bombs planted on the outskirts of