Ajmer case: Aseemanand says he does not want to become witness

59-year-old Aseemanand, who has made a confessional statement that he and several other Sangh activists had a direct role in Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts, filed his application in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ajmer, on Tuesday.

"Aseemanand has requested the court to reject his earlier application in which he had wished to become a witness in the Ajmer Dargah blast case. He has stated that he did not wish to turn a witness," according to a senior officer of the state's Anti-Terror Squad.
He said the ATS will be filing a charge sheet against the accused in the Ajmer case on April 8, when it comes up for further hearing.

The officer said Aseemanand alleged in the court that the investigating agencies were "not letting him hire a lawyer."

However, the ATS said that the allegation was untrue and that the accused had not been pressurised in any manner.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan's Additional Chief Secretary (Home) P K Deb said here that the Ajmer case is likely to be handed over to the National Investigating Agency (NIA) as the Central government feels that the same radical groups were involved in Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and certain other cases.

"Ajmer Dargah blast case will be handed over to the NIA after the Chief Minister's approval. The Centre had forwarded to us a proposal for the same some 25 days ago," Deb said.

"We after discussion with the state Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the law department forwarded the file to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his approval is expected soon," he said.

"The Centre's contention was that since the same radical outfits were involved in the blasts in Ajmer Dargah, Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid and Malegaon, the case should be investigated by the NIA," the officer said.

Aseemamand alias Jatin Chatterjee, who was arrested on November 19, last year by the CBI in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast case, had given his confessional statement in a court in Delhi on December 18 last year. He was taken into custody by the Rajasthan ATS on January 22, this year following a court order.

The 2007 blast at the Dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer had left three persons dead and 15 others injured.

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