[A victim injured in the 2008 Malegaon blast is being consoled at a local hospital. (ummid.com File Photo)]
New Delhi: While strongly criticising the BJP Government in New Delhi for intruding in the impartiality and independence of National Investigation Agency (NIA) by dropping charges against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Takur, Lt. Col. Purohit and others in the Malegaon blast case, Welfare Party of India (WPI) said it would result in serious consequences.
"Role of right wing Hindutva forces was convincingly established by then Joint Commissioner of Mumbai ATS Hemant Karkare who lost life in the 26/11 Mumbai attack. Even his integrity is being questioned now", Party national president Dr. S.Q. R. Ilyas said expressing apprehension of people losing their faith in institutions of government.
"It is ridiculous that the same NIA that had vehemently objected to bail applications of Sadhvi, Purohit and others many times is taking a U-turn by diluting the blast case that took the lives of six people", he added.
"Welfare Party wants to caution the government not to play with the institutions and agencies of the nation", he said.
Dr Ilyas was responding to the NIA chargesheet filed today which did not name Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur as accused and also dropped charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Purohit and all other accused.
They will now be charged under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the chargesheet will be filed in the UAPA court in Mumbai.
"The chargesheet has been filed. We are about to get the copies. They have recommended to discharge four people, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur," defence lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar said.
Besides Sadhvi Pragya, Praveen Takkalki and two others have also been discharged in the case.
"During investigation, sufficient evidences have not been found against the below mentioned persons and NIA has submitted in the Final Report that the prosecution against them is not maintainable -Pragya Singh Thakur, Shiv Narayan Kalsangra, Shyam Bhavarlal Sahu, Praveen Takkalki, Lokesh Sharma and Dhan Singh Choudhury," the NIA said in its chargesheet.
"Some people want to move to court against the discharge recommended. We are challenging them," he added.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Friday alleged that Malegaon blast accused were being set free because they have links with the BJP-led central government.
“The central government wanted to save Malegaon (blast case) accused as they have connections with them,” senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh told the media here.
“Even Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) wants to save the people involved in terror activities.”
The Supreme Court had on May 6 directed the NIA to file a chargesheet against Lt. Col Srikant Purohit, former military intelligence officer and an accused in the case.
Six people were killed when a powerful bomb fitted in a motor cycle, allegedly owned by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, exploded in a crowdy market on Malegaon during the Holy Month of Ramadan on September 29, 2008. It was the first major case in which the involvement of right-wing Hindu extremists came to the fore.