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Malegaon blast case: NIA gives clean chit to Sadhvi

In a complete U-turn, the NIA on Friday dropped all charges against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and five others in the 2008 Malegaon blast case while charges under the stringent MCOCA law have been given up against all the other 10 accused including Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit.

Malegaon blast case: NIA gives clean chit to Sadhvi
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Sadhvi Pragya Thakur

Mumbai

“During investigation, sufficient evidence was not found against Pragya Singh Thakur and the five others,” the NIA said, adding it has submitted in the chargesheet that the prosecution against them is not maintainable. 

Today’s development in the case, in which seven people were killed in twin blasts that occurred when people were exiting a mosque after offering prayers during Ramzan in September 29, 2008. 

There have been a lot of twists and turns in the probe into the Malegaon blast which was described as a handiwork of people associated with Hindu right wing groups. 

The case was investigated initially by Joint Commissioner of Mumbai’s ATS Hemant Karkare who was killed during the 26/11 Mumbai attack.

Before the NIA took over the case in 2011, ATS had booked 16 people but filed charge sheets on January 20, 2009 and April 21, 2011 against 14 accused in a Mumbai court. 

Purohit and Pragya had moved several applications before Bombay High Court and Supreme Court challenging the charge sheet and applicability of stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the case. 

Shiv Narayan Kalsangra, Shyam Bhavarlal Sahu, Praveen Takkalki, Lokesh Sharma and Dhan Singh Choudhury are the other five accused against whom charges have been dropped besides Sadhvi.

Lt Col Purohit and nine others will now be tried for charges including murder and conspiracy under the provisions of anti-terror law UAPA, IPC, Arms Act and Explosives Substance Act. 

Sadhvi was framed: BJP

BJP on Friday welcomed the NIA decision to drop all charges against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and five others in the 2008 Malegaon blast case and suggested a probe against those involved in building the case against her in the UPA government, saying she was ‘framed’. 

In an apparent attack on the UPA dispensation, BJP said there was conspiracy over Malegaon and Samjhauta express blasts cases, in which Hindutva groups were prosecuted by investigation agencies, and some politicians worked against the country’s interests.

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