An absconding member of Hindutva organisation Sanatan Sanstha was arrested by Maharashtra ATS for his alleged role in the 2009 Goa blast – the sixth person to be held in the case. An ATS team laid a trap and arrested Prashant Juvekar, absconding since October 16 last year, from near Bhusawal railway station in Jalgaon district on July 31, state ATS chief Rakesh Maria said. A 7.65 mm pistol was recovered from Juvekar, who was actively involved in the conspiracy and was trained in making IEDs, detonators and timing devises, Maria said. The National Investigating Agency (NIA), probing the case, had filed a charge sheet against 11 Sanatan Sanstha members and made five arrests before nabbing Juvekar. Those named in the charge sheet include Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik, who were killed when the bomb went off. The other five arrested are Vinay Talekar, Vinayak Patil, Dhananjay Ashtekar, Dilip Mangaonkar and Prashant Ashtekar. The absconding accused in the case are Sarang Akolkar, Jayaprakash alias Anna, and Rudra Patil.
Meanwhile, four of the six accused arrested so far have charged Goa Home Minister Ravi Naik with being personally involved in fabricating and manipulating evidence in the case. In an application moved before the district and sessions court on August 5, Sanjiv Punalkar, the lawyer representing the four accused – Vinayak Patil, Vinay Talekar, Dhananjay Ashtekar and Dilip Mangaonkar – said they would be producing evidence or witnesses to prove Naik’s involvement in the case. “These evidences would prove the personal involvement of Naik in fabricating and manipulating evidence in collusion with officials of the Ponda police station,” he claimed. Punalkar said any delay in the trial may hamper their attempt to expose the involvement of the minister.