Sudhakar Chaturvedi, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, alleged on Monday that the Mumbai anti-terror squad (ATS) had “falsely implicated innocent people” in the name of “saffron terror”, and also tried to frame UP CM Yogi Aditya Nath, then a BJP MP, and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Talking to reporters here, Chaturvedi, recently released on bail after nine years, alleged Hindu activists were framed in the case by the then Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra in a bid to prove the theory of saffron terror “to appease Muslim voters”.
“The investigators wanted to know from me about the profile of Yogi and his organisation Hindu Yuva Vahini (sic). The way they repeatedly questioned me about Yogi indicated that he (Yogi) was (their) main target, and they wanted to frame a prominent saffron-clad personality in the case,” Chaturvedi said.
During questioning, the ATS also wanted to know his connection to the RSS and its leader. He alleged that during detention, he and the other accused were subjected to torture worse than the third degree. Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was held in illegal custody for a week and then shown as arrested on October 23, 2008, he claimed.
He was picked up by the ATS team at Deolali (Nashik) forcibly the next day and brought to Mumbai. After severe torture, he was taken to Bhopal in a private seven-seater aircraft, he claimed.
In the records of Air Traffic Control, a false name, “Sangram Singh”, was assigned to him by ATS officials, he alleged, adding that in Bhopal they picked up Sameer Kulkarni by contacting him from his (Sudhakar’s) mobile phone. He also alleged that an ATS officer snatched the key to his house at Deolali and planted RDX there.