2008 Malegaon blast: Sadhvi Pragya, Lt Col Purohit and 5 others charged under UAPA

Malegaon bomb blast in which six people were killed and 101 injured, now an NIA special court has now framed charges against the seven accused, including Army officer Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

All the seven accused who are currently out on bail will now face trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for conspiring and helping a terror act, and other charges, including murder and criminal conspiracy.

The court framed charges against the seven accused, including Purohit (46), Pragya Singh Thakur (47), Sameer Kulkarni (47), Ajay Rahirkar (49), Sudhakar Dhar Dwivedi (49), Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay (66) and Sudhakar Chaturvedi (46).

The court said that the seven accused, planned a criminal conspiracy to spread activities of the organisation, Abinav Bharat, and to strike terror and create a communal rift. The court said the absconding accused had on September 29, 2008, fitted an explosive device on a motorcycle and caused the blast.

Sadhvi Pragya, who was lodged in a jail in Madhya Pradesh before being granted bail last year, was present before the Mumbai court in a wheelchair. She said the charges were “false” and part of “a Congress conspiracy”.

Lt Colonel PrasadPurohit told the court that there was never a question about his honesty and integrity, even though he signed documents concerning the charges against him.

The charges against them are section 16 (punishment for a terrorist act) and section 18 (punishment for conspiracy) of UAPA, sections of IPC, including murder, attempt to murder and voluntarily causing hurt, and sections of the Explosive Substances Act.

The court postponed the case till November 2, when a list of documents and witnesses will be submitted by the prosecution.