New Delhi : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) cleared four people, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar, of charges in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast here on Monday. A closure report was submitted in the special NIA court in Jaipur, as the counter-terrorism agency claimed they couldn’t find enough evidence to build a case against the four.
“The NIA filed the closure report against Sadhvi Pragya Singh, Indresh Kumar, and two more men, Prince and Rajendra, in the Ajmer Dargah blast case. The court will decide on April 17 whether it will accept the report,” public prosecutor Ashwini Sharma told media.
Three more suspects — Sandeep Dange, Suresh Nair and Ram Chandra Kalsangra — are still on the run.
Justice Dinesh Gupta expressed displeasure over NIA’s inability to arrest the trio, who figure on a list of most-wanted people in the agency’s website with cash rewards against them. The court has written to the NIA DGP, asking for a progress report on efforts to arrest the three fugitives.
Sadhvi Pragya has been accused of being a member of Abhinav Bharat, a Hindu extremist outfit apparently floated by military officer Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit. Indresh Kumar of the RSS is allegedly with the group.
The explosion at the popular Sufi shrine in Ajmer in October 2007 killed three people and wounded 17. Besides Ajmer, the Sadhvi has been a suspect in the 2008 Malegaon bombing that killed seven people.
The special NIA court had earlier found Hindu right-wing activists Sunil Joshi and Devendra Gupta guilty of planning the blast, and Bhavesh Bhai Patel of planting the explosive. Both the men were sentenced to life imprisonment on March 22. The court directed the NIA on Monday to present evidence that verifies the deaths of two other people in the case, Jayanti Bhai Gohil and Ramesh Gohil. Both men were accused in the Gujarat Best Bakery Blast in 2002.
RSS leader Indresh Kumar link to Ajmer Blast
Bharat Bhai, a key accused in the Ajmer blast case who was arrested from Gujarat in 2011 told the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) that RSS leader Indresh Kumar was the mastermind behind the murder of RSS functionary Sunil Joshi. In his confessional statement given to an Ajmer court, he said that RSS pracharak from Madhya Pradesh, Sunil Joshi, rang him up soon after the Ajmer blast in 2007 and said “Hamne patakhe phor diye hain,” implying they had organized the blast. He also confessed that Joshi told him that the blast was triggered with the knowledge of senior RSS leader Indresh Kumar.
Bharat Bhai also alleged that Indresh Kumar was as the mastermind behind Joshi’s murder. In his signed statement, Bharat Bhai said he came to know of Joshi’s murder on the same night. He also claims that Swami Aseemanand told him that the murder was “the handiwork of Indresh Kumar, who didn’t like Joshi.” Joshi was murdered two months after the Ajmer blast.
Public Prosecutor was told to go soft
Making a shocking revelation in 2015, Ms. Rohini Salian, who appeared for the National Investigating Agency in the 2008 Malegaon blast case involving Hindu extremists, said that the agency told her to go soft in the case after the new government took over at the Centre.
“An NIA officer approached me immediately after the change of government and told me in person to go soft. On June 12, he approached me for the second time and said I would no longer be appearing in the case,” Ms. Salian had told earlier before she removed herself from the trial.
With PTI inputs