Yashpal Bhadana is a member of Abhinav Bharat and a key witness in the 2007 Samjhauta Express and 2008 Malegaon blasts cases.
Appearing before a magistrate, Bhadana said that he was ‘coerced’ to make a statement framing those involved in the blast cases.
His admission is a stark departure from the previous one given before the NIA.
One of those he says framed by him is Swami Aseemanand. Two people arrested in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blasts are Lt Colonel Srikant Prasad Purohit and Pragya Singh Thakur.
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur was charged for the 2008 Malegaon blasts. Indian Express
Bhadana’s statement, admissible before the court, might change the entire course of investigations which have so far implicated right-wing groups for the blasts. According to this report
, Bhadana told the magistrate that he was not present at the April 2008 meeting in Bhopal where Swami Aseemanand had allegedly propounded the ‘Bomb ka Badla bomb’.
In his earlier statement given to the NIA, Bhadana had said that he was present at the meeting.
The NIA has not commented on Bhadana’s statement calling the matter sub-judice.
Swami Aseemanand has been accused of a series of bombings – Ajmer Sharif, Mecca Masjid, 2006 Malegaon Blasts and 2007 Samjhauta blasts.
The Samjhauta Express blast killed 68 people, mostly Pakistanis. Prakash Singh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
More than 100 people lost their lives in all the blasts. Aseemanand was arrested in November 2010. While he had initially confessed, he later stated that he was pressurized into making it. In 2015 Aseemanand got bail in Samjhauta blast case from the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The NIA did not challenge the bail decision.