A special court of the National Investigation Agency in Mumbai on Friday directed all the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case to be present before it once a week, reported ANI. The seven accused in the case include Bharatiya Janata Party’s Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur and Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit, who are out on bail at present.

The court said exemptions would not be granted without convincing reasons, reported The Indian Express. The matter will be heard again on May 20.

On September 29, 2008, at least six people died and several were injured in two blasts in Maharashtra’s Malegaon city. Radical Hindu outfit Abhinav Bharat is suspected of carrying out the attacks. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had filed a chargesheet against 14 right-wing extremists in the case.

The National Investigation Agency has submitted a list of 286 witnesses – including doctors, police officers and forensic experts – and more than 200 documents. Apart from Thakur and Purohit, the other accused are Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi. On October 30, the court charged the seven with terror conspiracy, murder and other related offences. They have pleaded not guilty.