Malegaon: NIA asked prosecutor to go slow

Malegaon: NIA asked prosecutor to go slow

Malegaon: NIA asked prosecutor to go slow

In a fresh twist to the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, senior public prosecutor Rohini Salian has claimed that a senior NIA official has asked her to go soft after the NDA government came to power at the Centre.

The accused in the case include Dayanand Pandey alias Sudhakar Udaybhan Dhar Diwedi, popularly known as Swami Amritananda Dev Teerth, the Srimad Jagat Guru Shankaracharya Sharda Sarvagyapeeth-Kashmir, former Military Intelligence official Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur alias Purnachetanandagiri. 

Twelve accused are tried in the case at a special court set up under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). Four of the accused are out on bail. 

Former Special Inspector General of Police and Joint Commissioner Hemant Karkare had unearthed the involvement of the Hindu fundamentalist groups as chief of the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS). 

A charge-sheet was filed in the case after his killing in the 26/11 terror attack and the NIA later joined the probe. 

“An NIA officer called me up and said he wanted to meet me. He then met me some time last year and asked me to go soft on the accused in this case...,” the 68-year-old Salian said, adding that the officer had instructions from higher-ups to convey this to her. 

“Again on June 12 this year, the same officer met me and conveyed orally that I was to be replaced by some other lawyer. I told him to settle my bills and denotify me as a prosecutor in this case,” she said.

“However, no notification has been issued to date regarding replacing me or settling my bills,” Salian, a veteran of many high-profile cases, said. 

The prosecutor did not name the NIA officer during during her media interaction. She also revealed that the NIA offered to pay her on par with CBI prosecutors, but she insisted that she should be paid higher as the NIA did on previous occasions. The powerful blast at Malian’s Bhikku Chowk on Navratri eve on September 29, 2008, claimed six lives and left 101 injured. It is said to be engineered by Hindu fundamentalists.

It emerged during the probe that the accused are associated with Abhinav Bharat.The 13 accused had been booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), besides provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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