Hailing from UP’s Ballia district, Upadhyay had, in 2012, also contested from two assembly seats but had lost.
Mumbai: A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Thursday allowed retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts case, to contest the coming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. Upadhyay has now applied for temporary bail for a month, and the court has posted this matter for hearing on Monday. Hailing from UP’s Ballia district, Upadhyay had, in 2012, also contested from two assembly seats but had lost.
According to special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal, Upadhyay had moved the application a week ago seeking permission to contest the UP Assembly elections.
Before deciding the application special judge Shripad Tekale had sought the NIA’s reply. The agency informed the court that it did not have any objection and left it for the court to decide. Upadhyay’s lawyer moved a temporary bail plea soon after the court granted permission to his client to contest the election. The application sought bail from February 4 to March 4 so that Upadhyay can campaign for his seat. The court, however, has deferred hearing arguments on the same till January 23.
In 2012, Upadhyay had contested from Ballia’s Bairia and Meerut Sadar on an Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha ticket but could not win. Upadhyay is a native of Dalan Chapra village in the Bairia constituency of Ballia district in eastern Uttar Pradesh. His brothers and relatives still live there and he is expected to contest from the same constituency again.
As per chargesheet filed by the NIA, there are intercepted telephonic conversations between Upadhyay and co-accused Col. Shrikant Prasad Purohit to show they were part of conspiracy in the bomb blast and they had spoken in a code language to avoid getting caught. Twelve persons including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Col Purohit were arrested for allegedly carrying out blasts at Malegaon on September 29, 2008, killing six persons and injuring 100 others.