Two key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case whom the police say are missing were actually killed by the anti-terrorism squad in 2008, a former inspector said on Thursday. The officer told Hindustan Times that Ramchandra Kalsangre and Sandeep Dange were killed by ATS officials on December 26 that year. Their names are still on the wanted list, he added.

Mehboob Mujawar said he had filed an application with the chief judicial magistrate’s court in Solapur on August 19, 2016, and furnished proof to support his claim. He first revealed this during an interview to Times Now. He said three senior officials of the Maharashtra police tried to suppress information about the killings. Mujawar was suspended from the force in April 2009 after serving for five months in the capacity of a police inspector. “I was suspended from the ATS as I was a witness to the murders,’’ he told The Times of India.

Special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal said that this was the first time that anyone has claimed the two accused are dead. “Officially there is no communication from the agency yet. But while arguing the matter earlier in the case, officers said the two accused were absconding...the chargesheet shows them as wanted accused,” Rasal said. He said government agencies would look into the matter, if allowed by the court.

Two explosions killed at least six people and injured many others in Malegaon on September 29, 2008. Several people, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, and Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit, were arrested in connection with the incident. The police had named 14 right-wing extremists in the chargesheet filed in the case.