The National Investigation Agency on Friday discharged four terror accused in Malegaon blast case.
This came on the day several media reports suggested that the NIA, which falls under the central government, had decided to water down the Malegaon blasts case by dropping serious charges of terror against individuals associated with what came to be known as ‘Hindutva Terror.’
Sadhvi Pragya, a former ABVP leader and key accused in the Malegaon blasts.
According to defence lawyer, Sanjeev Punalekar, said that Sadhvi Pragya Singh. Praveen Takkalki and two others had now been discharged in 2008 Malegaon blast case, which had killed four people and injured 79 others.
The NIA chargesheet, instead, blamed the former Maharashtra ATS chief, Hemant Karkare, for carrying out flawed investigations. The NIA, according to Indian Express, will even go to the extent of accusing Karkare, who died in 26/11 terror attacks, of fabricating evidence against Colonel Prasad Purohit, another key accused and recording witness statements under duress.
The NIA’s decision caused widespread condemnation as social media users launched stinging attack against the BJP-led central government for dishonouring a national hero.
Reacting to the use of disparaging remarks for Karkare, a martyr, senior Congress leader, Digvijay Singh said, “I want to tell Centre that we know you want to save Malegaon accused and you have connections with them. But don’t malign the name of Shaheed Hemant Karkare. The Centre including PM wants to save the people involved in terror activities.”
The NIA’s significan U-turn on Malegaon blasts case, which had killed four people and injured 79 others in September 2008, has come after the special public prosecutor, Rohini Salian, last year alleged that she was asked to go soft against the accused such as Sadhvi and Purohit after the Narendra Modi government assumed power in May 2014.
Salian was removed from her post in October 2015.