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Sadhvi Pragya, Purohit to face trial in Malegaon blast case 

Mumbai, Dec. 27 (PTI): Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Prasad Purohit and six others will face trial under an anti- terror law in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case as the special court handling NIA cases here on Wednesday dismissed their applications for discharge.

The court has, however, dropped charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against all the accused.

It discharged three accused - Shyam Sahu, Shivnarayan Kalsangra and Praveen Takalki - from the case.

The court said the accused persons will face trial under sections 16 (committing a terror act) and 18 (criminal conspiracy) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), and sections 120(b) (punishment of criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 326 (intentionally causing harm to others) of the Indian Penal Code.

”The UAPA sections 17 (raising funds for a terrorist organisation or a terrorist attack), 20 (being part of a terrorist organisation) and 23 (aiding somebody who is part of a terrorist organisation) have been dropped against all accused,” S. D. Tekale, judge of the special court handling NIA cases said.

The accused who will now face trial in the case, apart from Sadhvi and Purohit are: Sudhakar Dwivedi, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Ajay Rahirkar.

Jagdish Mhatre and Rakesh Dhawde will face trial only under the Arms Act, the court said.

The court has asked all the accused persons to appear before it on January 15 for the formal framing of charges against them.

On September 29, 2008, there was a bomb explosion near Bhiku Chowk at Malegaon in Nashik district, killing six persons and injuring several others.

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