Malegaon 2008 blasts case: Special NIA court rejects Sadhvi Pragya's bail plea

A special NIA court on Tuesday rejected the bail application of the prime accused, Pragya Singh Thakur, in the Malegaon 2008 blasts case.

FP Staff June 28, 2016 16:23:34 IST
Malegaon 2008 blasts case: Special NIA court rejects Sadhvi Pragya's bail plea

A special NIA court on Tuesday rejected the bail application of 2008 Malegoan blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur who had been given a clean chit by the probe agency last month. Even as the court pulled up NIA for dropping MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) charges against Thakur, victim's lawyer said that it was an independent decision taken by the court.

Malegaon 2008 blasts case Special NIA court rejects Sadhvi Pragyas bail plea

File image of Sadhvi Pragya. PTI

"The court has taken an independent view. The NIA's no-objection certificate has been discarded," Advocate Wahab Khan told the reporters. Khan, who appeared for the intervener in the case who was among the injured, said the court pulled up the NIA for conducting a fresh investigation under the pretext of carrying out further probe.

"The court has said that prima facie and MCOCA cannot be dropped against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur," Khan said.

Special Judge SD Tekale rejected the bail plea in an in-camera hearing, after families of the blast victims objected to Pragya's plea.

In her application, Pragya had contended that there was no evidence against her.

Though the motorcycle used in the blast was owned by her, according to one of the witnesses, it was in the possession of Ramchandra Kalsangra, an absconding accused, she had said.

Some of the witnesses, whose statements were used to implicate her, later retracted and filed complaints of torture by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), her plea said.

Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal, who was among those injured in the blast, had filed an intervention application and opposed her plea.

Reacting to the court's order, family of Sadhvi Pragya Singh said that they will approach the high court challenging the order.

On the motorcycle used in the blast (that was owned by Sadhvi Pragya Singh), the court said that "at this prima facie stage she can't avoid her connection with it being registered in her name and she being the owner of the same".

The judge also said that safe conclusion can be drawn on the basis of witnesses' statement that during the Bhopal meeting (held to plot the Malegaon blasts), Pragya was present and there was discussion about jihadi activities in Aurangabad and Malegaon and (she along with others) discussed preventing it.

The court also observed that the participants in the meeting want to establish 'Hindu Rashtra' and their discussion shows that they want to establish government in exile.

"Prima Facie there was a Bhopal meeting and she (Singh) was there," the court observed. In her application, Pragya had contended that there was no evidence against her.

Though the motorcycle used in the blast was owned by her, according to one of the witnesses, it was in the possession of Ramchandra Kalsangra, an absconding accused, she had said.

Some of the witnesses, whose statements were used to implicate her, later retracted and filed complaints of torture
by the ATS, her plea said.

Earlier in June, a special NIA court had rejected the bail plea of four other accused in the case, who had sought liberty after eight accused Muslim men were discharged in April.

On 13 May, the NIA had dropped the names of Sadhvi Pragya and four others as 'accused' in the blast case in its chargesheet filed before the special court here, citing lack of evidence, and revoked provisions of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

The National Investigation Agency had given its no-objection to the bail application filed by Sadhvi stating that no case was made out against her as per evidence collected by the agency.

Seven people were killed in the twin blasts on 29 September, 2008. The Malegaon blasts was described as a handiwork of people associated with Hindu right wing groups.

The case was initially investigated 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 chargesheet on 20 January, 2009 and 21 April, 2011 against 14 accused in a Mumbai court.

With inputs from agencies

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