MUMBAI: A forensic expert, the 261st witness to depose in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, told the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday that traces of ammonium nitrate were found on several articles, including the LML Freedom bike allegedly recovered from the blast site. “Ammonium nitrate is used as an explosive,” the witness told the court. It is the prosecution’s case that the bike was registered in the name of BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, who is an accused in the case.
The witness also said that through a procedure, he managed to arrive at three possible engine numbers from the bike. The witness said that before the recovery of the numbers, he had observed that no engine number was present on the plate. He also said he had noticed scratches on the surface of the engine number.
The prosecution had earlier alleged that one of the numbers belonged to the bike purported to be in Thakur’s name. The bike and other articles seized by the prosecution were examined in the court’s premises on Tuesday in the presence of the judge, court staff, prosecution and the witness. All went to the spot in the court complex where the bikes were parked.
The now-retired witness, in his examination in chief by special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal, had submitted before the court that his work involved chemical analysis of the material evidence sent by the police and the furnishing of a chemical analysis report.
The deposition of the witness will continue on Wednesday. It was the prosecution’s case that the bike was used to plant explosives for the blast.
In 2019, another a witness identified before the trial court the two bikes found at the site after the blast.