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Lt Col Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya charged for terror conspiracy

Lt Col Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya charged for terror conspiracy

NEW DELHI: A special NIA court on Tuesday charged all the seven accused, including Lieutenant Colonel Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya, in the 2008 Malegaon blast case for terror conspiracy, murder and other related offences.

The court has fixed November 2 as the next date of hearing.

Judge Vinod Padalkar, presiding over the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, framed charges against the accused persons.

Under the UAPA, the accused have been charged with being part of a terrorist act, and under IPC they have been charged with criminal conspiracy and murder.

Apart from Purohit and Sadhvi, the other accused are Major (Retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni.

All the accused were present in the court when the judge read out the charges against them.

On Monday, the Bombay high court had refused to stay framing of charges by the trial court against Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit and other accused persons.

A bench of Justices SS Shinde and AS Gadkari, however, agreed to hear next month, a petition filed by Purohit, one of the seven accused in the case, challenging his prosecution under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

It directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) counsel Sandesh Patil to file a reply to Purohit's plea by November 21, the next date of hearing.

The bench refused Purohit's request for staying the proceedings in the trial court, noting that in the past, both the Supreme Court and the Bombay HC had passed orders directing the trial court to expedite the hearing in the case.

The trial court, the special NIA court in the present case, is scheduled to begin framing of charges against Purohit and other accused Tuesday.

Six persons were killed and over a 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a power loom town located about 200 km from here in North Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.

Besides Purohit, the other accused case are Pragya Singh Thakur, Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.

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