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‘Sameer had attacked a pastor last year’
Published on 10 Nov. 2008 1:28 AM IST
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Sameer Kulkarni, arrested on October 28 in connection with the September 29 Malegaon bomb blast, may have been involved in an attack on a pastor in Pune last year, according to Times News Network. In June 2007, the Vineyard Church in Khadki was attacked and its patron Rev. Peter Silve was seriously injured. “Kulkarni was the main accused in the FIR and the victim had even identified him,’’ said Abraham Mathai, general secretary of Christian Council of India. According to Mathai, had Kulkarni been arrested and his activities probed thoroughly, the blast in the textile town could have been averted. “I had written to the the police asking them to arrest Kulkarni. Despite him being named in the FIR, no action was taken. Had the police arrested him and conducted a diligent interrogation, Kulkarni’s terrorist activities and intentions would have surfaced,’’ Mathai said. A police officer said Kulkarni was campaigning against the church and would travel frequently to Gujarat and MP to spread pro-Hindutva messages. Sources from intelligence agencies said as many as 58 churches were demolished by Kulkarni and his associates in 1998. Kulkarni, a printing press employee from Bhopal, was arrested by the ATS. He is suspected to have arranged chemicals used in the blast. According to police, Kulkarni, co-founder of Abhinav Bharat, had been to Indore, Gujarat and Nashik to attend meetings where the conspiracy for the blast was hatched.

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