2008 Malegaon Bomb Blast: NIA Special Court examines alleged motorbike of BJP MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur

2008 Malegaon Bomb Blast: NIA Special Court examines alleged motorbike of BJP MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur

Bar & Bench

Omkar Gokhale

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday presented the seized vehicles, including a motorbike allegedly owned by BJP Lok Sabha MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, as evidence in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case to a special NIA court.

Special court judge VS Padalkar examined the seized motorbike and cycles brought in a tempo parked near the court premises. Witnesses in the case were present during the inspection of vehicles. The judge climbed on to the tempo and inspected damaged vehicles with the help of a mobile flashlight.

Two motorbikes and five cycles seized from the blast site were brought to the sessions court in South Mumbai for examination.

The charges state that the bomb was set off with an improvised explosive device, fitted in a gold-coloured LML Freedom motorcycle that was registered in the name of Pragya Singh Thakur.

Moreover, the witnesses identified the motorbike on Monday and confirmed to the court that the same motorbike was seen during the day of bomb blast.

According to witnesses, the motorbike put in the tempo appeared completely damaged at the back. Its front portion was intact and name of the motorbike ‘Freedom’ was visible above its headlight.

The NIA court, in December 2017 had rejected Thakur’s discharge plea observing that prima facie, the vehicle used in the blast belonged to Thakur and remained in her name as per the regional transport office record.

In October last year, Special NIA Court had framed charges against Thakur and six others under Sections 16 (punishment for terrorist activities) and 18 (punishment for conspiracy to commit terrorist acts) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, and under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for murder, criminal conspiracy and promoting enmity between communities in October last year.

Last month, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur had sought the exemption from appearing before the Court, claiming that she needed to fulfil certain formalities in light of her election as a Member of Parliament. However, the court rejected her application, and directed her to appear for the hearings at least once a week.

Thakur is the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts. Six people were killed and over 100 injured on September 29, 2008, when an explosive device placed on motorbike went off near a mosque in Malegaon. The hearings in the case are progressing before the NIA Court on a daily basis.

Image taken from here.

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