The National Investigation Agency on Saturday made its first arrest in connection with the 2006 Malegaon bombing after the role of right-wing groups came to the fore with the nabbing of Swami Aseemanand in 2011.
The NIA arrested one Mohan, who is alleged to be part of the criminal conspiracy and touted as planter of explosives in communally-sensitive powerloom town of Malegaon on September 8, 2006 which left 35 people dead.
He was arrested from Hatod area of Indore district in Madhya Pradesh and was being taken to Mumbai on a transit remand where he would produced before the court, officials said.
Mohan’s role came out before the NIA during the interrogation of Rajesh Chowdhry, an alleged bomber of Samjhauta train blast, who had claimed to be also a part of alleged conspiracy involved in bombing at Malegaon, they said.
His arrest is the first one by the NIA in connection with the Malegaon blasts. The Mumbai Police’s elite ATS and CBI had arrested nine Muslim men in the aftermath of the incident.
The nine men came out of jail after nearly five years when their bail plea was not opposed.
Investigations into terror cases like Malegaon took a different turn after right-wing group Abhinav Bharat (not the charitable trust by the same name) member Swami Aseemanand stated in his confessional statement before a magistrate that Malegaon blast was masterminded by a Hindu group.
Swami Aseemanand, alias Jatin Chatterjee, had stated in his statement that slain RSS worker Sunil Joshi and others were responsible for the Malegaon 2006 blasts. However, he later attempted to backtrack from his confessional statement.
Four bombs planted in Malegaon had exploded on September 8, 2006. The fateful day happened to be Shab-e-Barat, considered auspicious among Muslims, when they assemble to pay respects to their departed relatives.
Malegaon had seen another terror attack in 2008 allegedly by right-wing Hindu groups. Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and former Lt. Col. Srikanth Purohit were arrested in connection with the incident.