The Goa police on Monday said they gathered evidence which showed close links between one of the prime accused in the case of Deepavali-eve Margao blasts, Malgonda Patil, and some of those blamed for last year’s Thane, Vashi and Panvel (Maharashtra) explosions.

The police are probing the possible role of the Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindu right-wing group in Friday’s blasts. Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik — were grievously injured when a scooter they were parking was smashed in the impact of the blast caused by improvised explosive devices allegedly stored in the boot. While Patil, who was an administrator of the Sanatana Ashram in Goa, died of excessive bleeding within hours of admission to hospital, Naik is still in a critical condition in the Goa Medical College hospital.

SIT takes over

Briefing mediapersons here on Monday, Deputy Inspector-General R.S. Yadav said investigators concluded that the IEDs were similar to those used in the Maharashtra blasts, in connection with which the Sanatan Sanstha was also under the scanner.

Moreover, the police collected information to substantiate Patil’s presence in Miraj and Sangli during the recent communal riots.

A Special Investigation Team, headed by Superintendent of Police Omkumar Kurtarkar, took over investigations on Monday. It is assisted by two members of the Anti-Terrorist Squad who arrived in Goa from Pune.

On Patil’s links with the blasts in Maharashtra, Mr. Yadav said he was in that State last year and was very close to Vikram V. Bhave, one of the accused in the blasts there. Bhave was in touch with Patil, who had been an active member of the Sanatan Sanstha in Sangli as well as in Goa.

The police disclosed that the gelatin used in the Margao explosives was traced to Suraj Explosives Ltd., Nagpur, and investigations are on to ascertain how they were brought to Goa.

Action against ashram

The police reiterated that they initiated action against the Sanatan Ashram in Ramnathi in Ponda taluk of south Goa for allowing some foreigners to reside there without submitting their documents, including C forms, to the police for scrutiny. They are also probing the funding of the ashram, it was indicated.

Interrogation of some prominent office-bearers of the Ashram continued on Monday, but no arrest was made so far, Mr. Yadav said.

To a question on the possibility of banning the Sanatan Sanstha in Goa, Mr. Yadav said: “We are weighing evidence meticulously in view of earlier cases and their alleged involvement in Maharashtra, and we will put the material before the government [for it] to take a decision.”

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