NIA walks extra mile to defend terror accused Sadhvi Pragya


In a twist to the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, the NIA today told the Bombay High Court it did not know if recordings or transcripts existed of a conspiracy meeting in Bhopal, as claimed by Maharashtra ATS, to plot the crime which prime accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur allegedly attended.

Earlier in the past, the NIA had left everyone stunned by stating that it had no objection if Pragya was granted bail in Malegaon terror blasts case.

Maharashtra ATS, which earlier probed the case, had alleged in its charge sheets that Thakur attended several conspiracy meetings held by the right wing group Abhinav Bharat in Bhopal, Indore, Faridabad, Dharamkot and Ujjain.

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It claimed key witnesses had heard Thakur discussing the conspiracy at a closed-door meeting in Bhopal on April 11, 2008, it said.

This was the first meeting attended by Thakur, ATS claimed, and said its proceedings as also of such previous and subsequent gatherings, had been recorded and saved by the co- accused Sudhakar Dwivedi on his laptop.

ATS recovered the laptop, seized its hard disk for examination at FSL labs, and cited a host of audio and video clips retrieved from it to back its claims.

The division bench headed by Justice R V More, which was hearing Thakur’s bail plea today, was informed about the meeting by advocate B A Desai, who appeared for blast victims.

When the HC asked NIA to produce the transcript of the recording of the Bhopal meeting, the agency said it was not aware if it existed.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing NIA, the country’s anti-terror probe agency, said it only had the transcripts of an alleged meeting in Faridabad and if any more video recordings or transcripts existed, ATS had failed to hand them over to it.

“The Faridabad meeting was held before the Bhopal meeting and the reference to the accused was first made in the Bhopal meeting. So, if you have transcripts of the first meeting, the transcripts of the subsequent meetings must be there. What did you do with them? These were crucial meetings and the transcripts are important evidence. So, how are they missing?” the bench asked.

(With PTI inputs)


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