blast toll rises to 2, suspects belonging to
Two persons reportedly belonging to Sanathan Saunstha - a Hindu
religious group were detained on Saturday in connection with the
explosion in Margao town in Goa in which two members of the outfit
Outfit under scanner for Goa blast, five activists nabbed
The Goa police Sunday formed a special investigation team (SIT) to
probe the low-intensity blast in Margao, in south Goa, Friday night.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
called the blast a "dastardly act" and accused the home minister of
settling political scores by interfering with investigations in the
The blast on the Diwali eve near Grace
Church in Margao, a major town in South Goa, killed the two bomb
carriers, identified as Sanatan Sanstha activists.
Senior police officials told IANS that
no arrests have been made in the blast case so far. Superintendent
of Police Om Prakash Kurtadkar has been appointed the SIT chief,
which will spearhead the probe.
Meanwhile, a Goa police team has left
for Sangli district in Maharashtra to interrogate three Sanatan
Sanstha activists who were detained for the explosion of the
improvised explosive device (IED) in Goa Friday night, authorities
Police officers said they believed the
bomb was meant for a Hindu gathering in Margao which the Hindu
group, Sanatan Sanstha, bitterly opposes. Malgunda Patil, who
succumbed to injuries following the blast, hails from Sangli and had
been living in Goa for nearly two years at the Sanatan Sanstha
ashram, according to the police.
Speaking to reporters, Goa Home
Minister Ravi Naik said the police team was sent to question the
people detained by the Sangli police on the request of their
"This Malgunda Patil was originally
from Sangli. The police team is expected to find out more about his
background. They will also question the persons we have asked to be
detained in Sangli," Ravi Naik said. Police sources said the team
will also be questioning Patil's family and his known associates in
The Mumbai anti-terror squad (ATS)
team which is in Goa to assist the local police in the investigation
visited the scene of the blast Sunday. The Mumbai ATS is already
probing three blast cases in 2008 allegedly involving Sanatan
Sanstha activists in Thane, Navi Mumbai and Panvel and police
officers here said their experience would help in probing the Goa
The anti-terror squad team, in a joint
operation with the state police raided a printing press operated by
the Sanatan Sanstha in a joint operation, which lasted for two
hours. Police were unwilling to speak to the media on the findings
of the raid.
On Diwali eve, an accidental explosion
of an IED near a festive gathering near Grace Church in Margao, a
major town in South Goa, injured two bomb carriers Malgunda Patil
and Yogesh Naik. Both subsequently died of their injuries.
The blast occurred at 9.30 p.m., when
the duo on their scooter were caught in a traffic jam while ferrying
the IED towards a crowded area, where revellers had assembled to
watch the ritual burning of a Narakasura effigy, which is a
tradition on Diwali eve here.
The police also detected and defused
three other IEDs, two of which were found near the blast site and
one nearly 25 km away in Sancoale, near the port town of Vasco, 35
km from the capital.
The police have named the two
deceased, Patil and Yogesh Naik, under the Unlawful Activities
Prevention Act and under other sections of the IPC for waging war
against the country. The police have also detained four Sanatan
Sanstha activists for questioning.
Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar
of the BJP has said Goa was increasingly becoming a soft target for
terrorism and that the law and order situation was in a shambles.
"It appears that a political colour is
being given to the case. The home minister should let the police
investigate first before naming anyone," Parrikar said, referring to
the ongoing feud between Ravi Naik and a cabinet colleague, whose
nephew was initially named as a suspect by the home minister.
Parrikar said the BJP wanted the
police should go to the root cause of the blast. "If anyone is found
guilty, be it Sanatan Sanstha or anyone else for that matter, they
should be severely punished," he said.