Malegaon Blast: No political interference in the probe, says Rijiju
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that there is no political interference in the Malegaon 2008 blast probe being carried out by the NIA.
“The law is taking its natural course. The investigators now have the freedom to investigate without pressure unlike during the previous regime,” Rijiju told CNN News18.
The minister’s remarks came after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday dropped the names of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and four others as accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blasts case in its charge-sheet filed before a special court in Mumbai.
Dismissing Congress’ charge that the BJP government had been influencing the NIA probe, Rijiju said there was “no political interference”.
“There is no political interference and we will ensure that there is none at any level,” he said.
Earlier, Congress leader Digvijay Singh accused the BJP of maligning the image of slain Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad officer Hemant Karkare, whose team first arrested Sadhvi Pragya Singh, Colonel Shrikant Purohit and others in connection with the Malegaon blasts.
“To say that an upright officer like Hemant Karkare, who laid down his life fighting terror, fabricated evidence against Sadhvi Pragya and others is condemnable,” the Congress leader told the TV channel.
The National Investigation Agency has dropped the names of Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur along with five others as ‘accused’ in the September 2008 Malegaon blasts case, in its chargesheet filed before a Special Court in Mumbai.
“During investigations, sufficient evidences have not been found against (the accused) and the NIA has submitted in the final report that the prosecution against them is not maintainable,” the agency said, adding that no offence was established under the MCOCA in this case.
The premier terror probe agency did not rely on the confessionals recorded under the dreaded law conducted by the Mumbai Anti-Terror Squad (ATS).
The Sadhvi’s lawyer Sanjiv Punalekar told IANS that the NIA had decided to drop charges against his client due to lack of sufficient evidences against her.
“The charges against the six accused have been dropped while the charge sheet is being filed against the other remaining accused in the case,” Punalekar told IANS.
The agency stated that sufficient evidence was “not found” against six accused in blasts that killed six persons and left 101 injured. Pragya Thakur, Shiv Kalsangra, Shyam Sahu, Praveen Takkalki, Lokesh Sharma and Dhan Choudhury are accused in the 2008 blast case.
“During investigation, sufficient evidences have not been found against the below mentioned persons and NIA has submitted in the Final Report that the prosecution against them is not maintainable,” said the NIA’s press release.
“During the course of investigation, it has been established that no offence under MCOC Act is attracted in the instant case. In furtherance of same, the confessional statements recorded under provisions of MCOC Act by ATS Mumbai have not been relied up on by the NIA in submitting the present Final report,” reads the press release.
(With IANS inputs)