A key witness in the Malegaon blast case, in which Bhopal BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur is one of the accused, has sought security from Madhya Pradesh Police, expressing a threat to his life.
The witness, Indore-based mechanic Jitendra Bhakroda, was asked to appear before a special NIA court in Mumbai on Tuesday but has sought security and expenses for travel.
Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device attached to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a communally sensitive town in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.
According to the prosecution, the motorbike used in the Malegaon blast was taken to Bhakroda for servicing.
Bhakroda told ANI that he used to repair the bike of Ramji, a resident of Indore. "The NIA said that the bike belonged to Pragya Thakur. But I have never met her. Ramji used to come and I knew him. I have told this to the NIA."
In the 2008 Malegaon blast, a Maharashtra ATS team had questioned him earlier before the case was handed over to the NIA.
Bhakroda was asked to appear in the NIA court on Wednesday but failed to turn up stating that he feared that like witness Dileep Patidar he too will go missing. He has asked for security from Madhya Pradesh Police.
According to Bhakroda, "advocates and other persons are creating pressure" and said he cannot trust other state police after Dilip Patidar went missing from Maharashtra ATS' custody.
"Dilip Patidar, another resident of Indore and a witness in the Malegaon blast case, is still missing after being taken away by Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in November 2008", added Bhakroda.
The mechanic said, "I have also requested the NIA court for security and expenses for travelling to Mumbai."
Bhakroda also raised issues with the summons to him sent over WhatsApp and has asked for a formal summons from the investigating agency.
The Indore-based mechanic said that he did not have faith in Maharashtra Police and had sent an application to Indore Police Commissioner Harinarayan Chari Mishra. He said he had also sought time to meet the official but has not yet got it. (ANI)