The National Investigating Agency court on Wednesday announced that Pragya Thakur and Lt Colonel Purohit will not be tried under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 for their involvement in Malegaon blasts.
The NIA court said that both will face conspiracy charges, instead. the court said that Thakur could not be exonerated from conspiracy charges as “she was aware of the motorcycle being used for the conspiracy.”
“There is evidence to suggest that the accused number one (Thakur) had knowledge about involvement of her motorcycle,” the court said in its ruling on the nine-year-old case that had raised worries of Hindu militancy gaining a foothold as a reaction to Islamic extremism.
They are already out on bail. Thakur was granted bail in April 2017, while Purohit came out of jail in August this year.
Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on 29 September, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of north Maharashtra, 270 kms away from Mumbai.
Both Thakur and Purohit were arrested in the same year. Purohit was alleged to have floated the right-wing Hindutva group that planted bombs to cause blasts in Malegaon. He was also accused of having collected funds to procure arms and ammunition.
A special MCOCA court had earlier ruled that the ATS had wrongly applied this law against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Purohit and nine others.