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Updated: November 19, 2010 22:56 IST

CBI arrests ‘Swami Asimanand'

Vinay Kumar
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This May 18, 2007 photo shows people gathering at the blast site in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid. The CBI on Friday arrested Gujarat-based Swami Asimanand for his alleged involvement in the blast.
PTI This May 18, 2007 photo shows people gathering at the blast site in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid. The CBI on Friday arrested Gujarat-based Swami Asimanand for his alleged involvement in the blast.

The CBI on Friday arrested “Swami Asimanand” for his alleged involvement in the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007, in which nine persons were killed.

He was staying near Haridwar with a fake name and fake identity documents. He was produced before a Delhi Court, which granted transit remand for two days. He will be produced before the designated court in Hyderabad, CBI press information officer R. K. Gaur said.

Swami Asimanand, 59, also known as Naba Kumar Sarkar and Swami Onkaranand, is considered an ideologue of Abhinav Bharat, an organisation believed to be behind the 2008 Malegaon blast in Maharashtra.

A post-graduate in Botany, “Swami Asimanand” hails from Hooghly and is believed to have come to the tribal area of Dangs in south Gujarat in the 1990s.

His name had come up during the Malegaon blast probe when the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad recovered his driver's number from Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, prime accused in the Malegaon case.

According to the CBI, his name cropped up along with the other accused, Sandeep Darge, Ram Chadra Kalsangra alias Ramjee, both residents of Indore in Madhya Pradesh, during investigations.

The CBI recovered a passport issued by the Regional Passport Office (RPO) Kolkata, a ration card and Election Card issued by Haridwar authorities from his possession.

The investigating agency had arrested Devender Gupta and Lokesh Sharma in June in connection with the case.

The CBI and ATS (Maharashtra) carried out searches in 2009-10 at various places in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat after receiving information about “Swami Asimanand's” presence. However, he managed to escape, informed sources said.

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