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Court acquits six accused in 2009 Goa blast case

Wednesday, 1 January 2014 - 12:32pm IST | Place: Margao | Agency: ANI

A special court in Margao, Goa, has acquitted all six accused in the 2009 bomb blast case.

The incident took place on the eve of Diwali in Margao.

All the six accused, associated with right-wing Hindu group Sanatan Sanstha, were acquitted for lack of evidence against them in the blast that killed two people. Sanatan Sanstha is a non-profit organisation for scientific spirituality.

Following the blast, the accused were arrested by the Crime Branch of Goa Police, but later the investigation was transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The acquitted people have been identified as Vinay Talekar, Dhananjay Ashtekar, Prashant Ashtekar, Dilip Mazgaonkar, Prashant Juvekar and Vinayak Patil.

The lawyer representing the six accused, Sanjiv Punalekar, said it was a conspiracy to defame his clients. He also lashed out at the then Interior Minister P. Chidambaram and sought action against him for not co-operating with the investigation.

“C.L Patil, who was the police inspector of Ponda police station and the head priest of Ramnathi Temple, Vasanta Bhat, had framed these people and gave false evidences to the NIA. Our demand is that when P. Chidambaram was the Interior Minister of India (2009), he also gave false sanction, which the court has also taken a note of. There should be an investigation against Chidambaram and Ravi Naik (then Minister of State for Home) and Vasanta Bhat should be stripped of his post as the head priest.” Punalekar said.

The October 16, 2009 blast took place near the Grace Church in Margao, where a religious event was being held during which effigies of a mythical demon, Narkasur, were brunt to celebrate the victory of good over evil at the time of Diwali.

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