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Margao blast: Hindu right-wing group's member arrested

Last updated on: October 19, 2009 10:20 IST

The Goa police have arrested a man with alleged links to the Hindu right-wing group 'Sanatan Sanstha' in connection with the Margao blast, in which two persons were killed on Friday night, and also carried out searches at the outfit's office.

Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad sleuths have joined the state police in investigations but no details or the identity of the person was given. The searches were conducted at the Sanstha office in Nesai near Margao town, 30 km from Panaji.

According to the police, the outfit, with suspected links to 2008 Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, is allegedly involved in the blast. In an attempt to crack the case quickly, the state government formed a Special Investigating Team to probe the blast. Superintendent of police Omprakash Kurtarkar will head the SIT, a senior police officer told PTI.

The two victims, who were killed in the blast, were activists of the Sanstha.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Ravindra Yadav told reporters in Margao town that the arrest had been made on Friday night and that the arrested man belongs to Sanatan Sanstha.

"We will not divulge his name at this juncture," Yadav said. The police had earlier detained five members of the that which has recently come under the scanner of security agencies.

They included Virendra Marathe, manager of its ashram at Ramnathi and Prithviraj Hazare, group editor of the outfit's publications. Another activist, from the outfit's Sanatan Sanstha's ashram at Sangli in Maharashtra, was also detained by the Goa police.

The two victims -- Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik -- were booked under various offences including waging a war against the state. The Sanstha has denied the allegations of its involvement in the blast, terming them as 'baseless'.

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