Terror arrests put south Gujarat under lens
With the arrest of Bhavesh Patel and Mahesh Gohil this week for the 2007 Ajmer Sahrif blast, south Gujarat is emerging as a base for those allegedly involved in terror activities. While Patel belongs to Bharuch, Gohil is from Vadodara.
The first one from south Gujarat to be arrested in a terror case was Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. She was picked up from Surat by Mumbai ATS October 23, 2008, for her role in the September 2006 Malegaon blast that left 37 dead and over 100 injured. Pragya lived in Surat with her family.
On November 2010, Swami Aseemanand, who lived in Subir village of Ahwa taluka in Dangs district, was arrested in Haridwar by the CBI and handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which booked him in connection with the blasts at Ajmer Sharif, Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and on Samjauta Express train. A native of West Bengal, Aseemanand had been living in the village as the caretaker of Sabridham temple there.
In February 2011, NIA arrested Aseemanand's aide Bharat Mohanlal Rateshwar from Mograwadi area in Valsad district. He too was booked for his role in the Ajmer Sharif blast.
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