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Margao Blast Toll Rises To 2; Two Members Of Hindu Group Held

Two persons belonging to a right-wing Hindu group were detained on Saturday in connection with the explosion in Margao town in Goa in which two members of the outfit were killed. Police were probing the

PTI [ Updated: October 17, 2009 13:41 IST ]
margao blast toll rises to 2 two members of hindu group held
margao blast toll rises to 2 two members of hindu group held

Two persons belonging to a right-wing Hindu group were detained on Saturday in connection with the explosion in Margao town in Goa in which two members of the outfit were killed.

Police were probing the links of right-wing group Sanatan Saunstha with the blast that took place at 9.30 pm last night when explosives kept in a scooter went off on a busy street in Margao, 30 kms from here. Police claimed the outfit is allegedly linked to Malegaon blast accused and right-wing activist Sadhvi Pragya Singh.

Home Minister Ravi Naik said the explosives may have got triggered before being planted at a designated spot.

Police raided Sanatan Saunstha headquarters at Ramnathi in Ponda town, 20 kms from Margao, following the blast. "Two people owing their allegiance to Saunstha have been detained for further interrogation," Naik told PTI.

A person named Melgunda Patil, hailing from Maharashtra, was killed in the blast last night while another, Yogesh Naik, succumbed to his injuries this morning, hospital sources said.

Police said both belonged to the Saunstha and were riding the scooter. "The scooter which was carrying the explosives belongs to Saunstha's disciple Nishad Bakle," Naik said.

Within half an hour of yesterday's explosion, bomb disposal squad detected and defused another bomb with an electric circuit, a clock, four gelatin sticks and a detonator at Sancoale, 20 kms from the blast site.

Margao town was abuzz with people last night as it hosted 'Narakasur' effigy competition in the heart of the town, which is a tradition on the eve of Diwali. The blast took place only a few metres away from the competition venue.

Naik said the explosives may have got triggered before being planted at a designated spot. "The scooter which was carrying the explosives got hauled up in the traffic jam and hence there was a delay in reaching the spot," he said.

The Minister, quoting eyewitnesses, said traffic was diverted via another route which caused the jam and the two scooter-bound Sanatan Saustha activists were stuck.

"We have recovered mobile and other gadgets from the place where both of them were staying," Naik said.

The Home Minister said when Sanatan Saunstha's ashram was raided at Ramnathi last night, there were 250 people present in it, some from Maharashtra.

"We don't know how many people are involved but we are investigating all the people in detail," Naik said.

Terming the incident "very serious", he said he has asked police to investigate without any "political interference".

"There is every possibility of a political interference in the case. I have asked police to do their job as an independent authority," he said refusing to elaborate on the issue of "political interference".

Some Hindu right-wing groups came under scanner in Maharashtra after Sadhvi Pragya, Lt Col S P Purohit and several other Hindu activists were arrested in connection with the Malegaon blasts of September 2008. PTI

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