A Special NIA court on Monday rejected the bail petitions of Prasad Purohit and three other accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case. Besides Purohit, who is in jail since his arrest in late 2008, the other accused whose bail pleas were rejected were Dyanand Pandey alias Swami Amritanand Dev, Rakesh Dhawade and Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhayay. Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Rasal confirmed the development but declined to provide further details as the court passed the order during an in-camera hearing.
The accused, in their bail applications, had told the court that they were innocent and incarcerated for the past seven years without the trial taking off. However, National Investigation Agency (NIA) opposed their bail, saying there were evidences against them in the terror attack. Twelve persons, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Purohit, were arrested for alleged involvement in the September 29, 2008 blast in Malegaon, a powerloom town in North Maharashtra district of Nashik, about 200km from here. Six persons were killed and 100 others injured in the explosion.
The accused were booked under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Indian Penal Code and other relevant laws. Following a Supreme Court order, a special court has been constituted to hear the case. Sadhvi is also an accused in the murder of RSS activist Sunil Joshi in Madhya Pradesh.