Bharatiya Janshakti chief Uma Bharati on Monday met Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur, a key accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, in a hospital here and said she would launch a campaign to seek her release from jail.

The former BJP leader, after seeking permission from the Sessions Court, met the Sadhvi at the Ayurveda Hospital where she is being treated.

Ms. Bharati, who came on a wheel-chair as she had a leg injury, alleged that the Sadhvi was beaten up in the custody by Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), a charge earlier levelled by the accused herself.

“I will launch a nationwide campaign (jan jagaran) to free Pragnya Singh Thakur, who was severely beaten up in ATS custody and is in hospital. I felt the Sadhvi was disturbed,” she said briefing newspersons in the hospital premises.

Ms. Bharati said the 1993 serial blasts convict, actor Sanjay Dutt is moving freely, while a hero has been made out of 26/11 terror attack accused Ajmal Kasab, but the Sadhvi is languishing in jail on “false” charges.

The Sadhvi, who is in judicial custody, is undergoing ’panchakarma’ treatment for the last two months for her spinal problem.

She is among 11 accused arrested for the blast in Malegaon, a textile city near here in North Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008, in which six persons were killed.

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