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Haryana rly cops to grill Purohit, sadhvi

A railway police team from Haryana has come to Mumbai to interrogate Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit and sadhvi Pragya singh Thakur to find out if they had any role in the Samjhauta Express blast in February 2007.

Purohit and Thakur have been arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for their alleged role in the Malegaon blast of September 29.

“Our investigations into the Samjhauta Express blasts revealed that the suitcases were procured from Indore,” KK Mishra, inspector-general (railway police), Haryana, said from Chandigarh.

The Haryana railway police is intrigued by the Indore connection in the Malegaon blast, too. The first three arrests in the case — of Thakur, Shivnarayan Kalsangra and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu —were made in Indore. All the three belong to Indore. Ramji Kalsangra, Shivnarayan’s brother and the person said to have planted the bomb in Malegaon, is also a resident of Indore.

On Monday, the ATS picked up one more person, Dilip Potedar, from Indore. The ATS claimed that Potedar stayed as a tenant in Ramji’s Indore residence. It is not clear if he has been picked up for any alleged links in the blast or for information on Ramji, who is absconding.

A joint team of the ATS and Uttar Pradesh police on Wednesday arrested Dayanand Pandey, alias Swami Amritanand Dev, the head of Sharda Sarvagya Peeth in Jammu, from Kanpur.

Pandey, who belongs to Uttar Pradesh, was residing in Ravatpur village in Kanpur. He was arrested on the basis of photographs and telephone numbers the ATS stumbled upon in its investigations. Pandey had served as a naval officer; he had resigned from the job eight years ago, the police said.

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