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Updated: November 27, 2010 17:29 IST

CBI interrogates ‘Swami Asimanand’ in Mecca Masjid blast case

PTI
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An Accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case 'Swami Asimanand' who was arrested by the CBI on Friday being produced at the Nampally Criminal Court in Hyderabad on Saturday. Photo: G. Ramakrishna.
THE HINDU
An Accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case 'Swami Asimanand' who was arrested by the CBI on Friday being produced at the Nampally Criminal Court in Hyderabad on Saturday. Photo: G. Ramakrishna.

CBI today began interrogation of ‘Swami Asimanand’, an accused in the 2007 Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, after taking him into their custody from Chanchalguda Central Prison here, officials said.

After the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate here remanded him in seven days police custody yesterday, ‘Swami Asimanand’ was today handed over to CBI officials for further questioning, they said.

According to CBI, the 59-year-old ‘Swami Asimanand’ whose real name is Naba Kumar Sarkar, who had been on the run since 2008, was arrested on November 19 from Haridwar in connection with the blast at the historic masjid here on May 18, 2007, that killed nine people.

The Central investigation agency has claimed that the complicity of ‘Swami Asimanand’ in the criminal conspiracy in the blast case came to light recently.

“As part of further interrogation, we will also take ‘Swami Asimanand’ to Gujarat, Delhi and other places,” a senior investigating officer told PTI.

Through the interrogation of ‘Swami Asimanand’, the CBI wants to extract details on the whereabouts of other accused including two prime accused in the Mecca Masjid case - Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra alias Ramji, both natives of Indore, who continue to remain elusive, he said.

The CBI in its case diary filed before the court had submitted that ‘Swami Asimanand’ gave shelter to his co-accused after the Mecca Masjid blast.

“Such places had to be located, and also ascertained if ‘Swami Asimanand’ provided financial assistance to the co-accused,” the agency said.

The CBI has so far named five persons, all allegedly having links with a right-wing Hindu outfit, as accused in the case and brought two Ajmer blast accused, Devender Gupta and Lokesh Sharma to Hyderabad on June 17, as part of investigation into the Mecca Masjid case.

Gupta and Sharma are presently under judicial remand in a prison here.

The CBI officials had recovered few false documents from the “hideout” of ‘Swami Asimanand’ at Bhadurabad in Haridwar besides Rs 39,350 from his possession and it further wants to ascertain the source of the amount.

The CBI and Maharashtra ATS had earlier carried out searches at various places in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat as ‘Swami Asimanand’ was also wanted for his suspected role in connection with the Malegaon bomb blast case.


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