Malegaon blast: Explosives on bike linked to BJP MP Pragya Thakur, says expert

Mumbai, Aug 04 (KMS): A forensic expert, who is a witness in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, has told a special Mumbai court that traces of explosives were found on several articles including the LML Vespa scooter recovered from the explosion site.

The two-wheeler was registered in the name of Bhopal BJP MP and controversial Hindutva figure Pragya Singh Thakur.

Thakur is an accused person in the case.

The forensic expert, who worked as an assistant chemical analyser in 2008, said that traces of ammonium nitrate were found on the scooter recovered from the blast site, Indian media reported.

The witness told the court that Ammonium nitrate is used as an explosive.

In his testimony, the expert, the 261st witness in the case, said that when he arrived at the spot of the incident, he saw the scooter was seriously damaged with its fuel tank, seat cover and boot blown off.

The witness also told the court that the engine number of the scooter was scratched off. He said that he could manage to arrive at three possible engine numbers of the bike after using a chemical procedure.

Six persons were killed and 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a two-wheeler went off near a mosque in north Maharashtra’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008.

Hindu militant outfit Abhinav Bharat is suspected of carrying out the attack.

Including Thakur, seven persons are facing trial in the case. The six others are Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit, Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.

They have been charged under draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code, including murder.

The trial in the case had come to a halt in March 2020 after a lockdown was imposed across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. The trial resumed in December last year.