A witness in the 2008 Malegoan Blast case, whose statement had been recorded by Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, claimed in Court on Tuesday that the ATS had threatened him to take the names of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and four RSS leaders.

Notably, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, currently facing multiple cases of extortion, was posted as Additional Commissioner of the ATS, when it probed the Malegaon blast case.

The witness deposed before the Special NIA Court on Tuesday.

His statement had been recorded by the ATS when it probed the case, before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case.

During his deposition, the witness told the Court that the then Senior ATS Officer Param Bir Singh and another officer had threatened him to take the names of Yogi Adityanath, the present UP CM, and four other Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders, including Indresh Kumar.

He claimed the ATS tortured him and made him sit (in the ATS office) illegally.

After his deposition, the Court declared the witness hostile for making allegations against the ATS and denying that he made any statement before the Anti-Terror Agency.

As many as 220 witnesses have been examined in the case till now and 15 of them have turned hostile.

On September 29, 2008, six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Nashik's Malegaon town, located about 200 km from Mumbai.

The accused in the case include Lok Sabha member Pragya Singh Thakur, Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, Shudakar Diwedi, Major Ramesh Upadhyay (retired), Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni, all of whom are out on bail.

They are facing trial under provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code.

With PTI Inputs