According to reports, a top public prosecutor has said that she was under pressure from the agency investigating the 2008 Malegaon blasts, to go soft on Hindu terror suspects in the case ever since the new government came to power.
Rohini Salian, Special Public Prosecutor in the case, told The Indian Express that she was told by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), that she needed to “go soft” on the case.
Four people were killed and 79 injured when bomb blasts shook Maharashtra’s Malegaon, a predominantly Muslim town 200 miles east of Mumbai, during the month of Ramzan in September 2008. Investigations linked the blasts to Hindu terror suspects and 12 people were arrested, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit.
Salian claimed that she was tasked not to appear in court for the State of Maharashtra just before one of the regular hearings in the case in the Sessions Court. She even claims that another advocate was to attend the proceedings.
“A day before June 12, when the case came up again for regular hearing (in the trial court), the same officer who had come to my office came up to me and said there are instructions from higher-ups, someone else will appear instead of you. I said I was expecting this and, good, you have told me this, so please settle my bills,” Salian was quoted as saying.
She also said that she wanted the NIA to officially denotify her from the case. “So that I am free to take up other cases, against the NIA, if need be. He must have conveyed it to the higher-ups and I am waiting for their action. I have not heard from anyone since then,” Salian said.
Earlier in April this year, the Supreme Court stated that Purohit and Thakur and others in the case cannot be charged under the stringent MCOCA at the current stage and their bail could hence be examined on merit by a trial court. The court also reiterated that there were no evidence to charge the two under MCOCA.