‘We have asked for a certified copy of his confessional statement'

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is set to legally examine Swami Aseemanand's confessional statement with regard to the 2008 Malegaon blast case, ATS chief Rakesh Maria said in a press conference here on Friday.

Swami Aseemanand, a Hindutva leader, had admitted in his confession statement dated November 18, 2010, to have planned terror attacks on Ajmer Sharif, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and the Samjhauta Express.

“His name figures in the charge-sheet of 2008 Malegaon blast, but he was not shown as wanted. We have asked for a certified copy of his confessional statement. We will then legally examine it,” Mr. Maria said.

He refused to comment on whether the investigating agency would ask for his custody, but said that they were in regular touch with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) about the matter.

“There is co-ordination between us and we will share the information,” he said.

The ATS team had recently gone to Haryana and talked to the investigating officers, he said.

After Swami Aseemanand's confession statement, the Central Bureau of Investigation has also decided to reinvestigate the 2006 Malegaon blast case.

The ATS chief said that there was no confirmation of the killing of alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Riyaz Bhatkal in Karachi.

“We are trying to confirm through our sources, but there is no confirmation as yet,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said that the ATS had arrested four persons here, two of whom are from Bangladesh, in a fake currency racket and had seized fake Indian currency worth Rs. 10,07,000.

He said that the accused had already visited Mumbai and Ahmedabad four times in the past few months and had pumped in around Rs. 20 lakh fake currency in both the cities.

“The fake currency is of a very high quality. We will speak to the Reserve Bank of India authorities to take their assistance,” Mr. Maria said.

This is the third such seizure by the ATS in the past few months. Previously, the ATS had seized fake currency twice worth Rs. Thirteen lakh fifty thousand and Rs. Ten lakh respectively. Bangladeshi operatives were involved in those handlings too.