ATS Inserted My Name Instead of Savarkar’s: Bhadana
I was not present at Abhinav Bharat meeting in April 2008 in Bhopal, says hostile witness
New Delhi: One of the witnesses in the 2008 Malegaon blast, Yashpal Bhadana, is believed to have told the National Investigation Agency that his name was i nser t e d by t he Maharashtra anti-terror squad (ATS) in place of Himani Savarkar as one of those who attended the April 2008 Bhopal meeting of the radical outfit Abhinav Bharat. The outfit allegedly propounded a ‘bomb ka badla bomb’ theory at this meeting. Himani Savarkar was a leader of the Hindu Mahasabha who died last October.
Bhadana’s statement, as first report- ed by ET, was recorded in the presence of a magistrate and it is admissible as evidence in a court of law. Savarkar, who was also made a witness by ATS in its chargesheet, had denied the charges levelled by ATS in interviews. On the probe, an NIA spokesperson told ET: “The investigations are on. We would not like to make any comment.”
Savarkar is the daughter of Gopal Godse and niece of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse. She was allegedly made the president of Abhinav Bharat during the Bhopal meeting where, according to ATS, the ‘main conspiracy’ to carry out blast at Malegaon was hatched. Four people died and 79 injured in the blast. ATS KIREN RIJIJU chargesheet had named Lt. Colonel (retd) Srikant Prasad Purohit, a member of Abhinav Bharat, as accused while Savarkar was made a witness.
In a series of news reports that appeared after ATS chargesheet quoted her that she was not present at the Bhopal meeting and it was attended by Sadhvi Pragya, Dayanand Pande, SwamiAseemanand,SameerKulkarni and others. She also claimed that she had attended another Abhinav meeting at Jabalpur in June-July 2008 where Purohit was not present.
NIA, meanwhile, has said that DG Sharad Kumar never said there was no evidence against Purohit in other cases, including the 2008 Malegaon blasts. NIA clarified that Kumar only said that they have so far not found any evidence against him in the Samjhauta Express blast case.
UPA TO BLAME
Sharad Kumar never said there was no evidence against Purohit in cases being investigated, including 2008 Malegaon blasts