PMO interfering in Malegaon terror probe, says Congress

New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) The Congress on Sunday accused the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) of interfering in the 2008 Malegaon blast case to give “clean chits” to accused people with RSS-BJP background and sought to drag National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s name into the row.

The opposition party urged the Supreme Court to take into its custody the charge sheet, official files, notings and other relevant documents in the case to ensure justice.

“This government has interfered in the process of law and justice. There is a centrally coordinated dirty tricks department in the PMO being run under the supervision of NSA (National Security Adviser Ajit Doval),” senior Congress leader Anand Sharma told the media at the party headquarters here.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a charge sheet against 10 and dropped Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and five others from the list of the accused in the Malegaon case.

Charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) were dropped against all accused, including Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit.

“The NIA has now become ‘Namo Investigation Agency’ and is being misused for the sole purpose of giving clean chits to people affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the BJP by hook or crook,” he said.

“The Supreme Court must take cognizance and take all case documents into its custody, including confessional statements, charge sheets, files and notings, correspondence between government departments, NIA, attorney general, home ministry, PMO and NSA,” Sharma added.

The Congress reaction comes after a letter written by Malegaon key accused Purohit to NSA Ajit Doval surfaced.

In the letter dated January 6, 2016, Purohit wrote that “fabricated” evidence was planted against him by the Mumbai Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS).

“I sincerely seek your immediate intervention in the matter for the things that are not happening right,” Purohit said in the letter, and insisted that his “silence till date was out of the high hopes from the NIA which were now fast and timidly diminishing”.

Purohit said that the NIA was filing charge sheet on the similar lines “as that of fabricated and misconstructed investigation of the ATS as well as based on planted evidence”.

Though the government has not commented on the veracity of the letter, the NIA in its latest charge sheet filed last week had dropped MCOCA charges against all 10 accused who were indicted in 2008 case, including Purohit.

Anand Sharma said: “NSA Doval and the union home secretary are said to have intervened in the ongoing investigation by the NIA and the file with their notings has travelled across government departments, faster than (Olympian sprinter) Usain Bolt.”

Referring to the latest NIA charge sheet in the case, Sharma said “the government will do the same with the Samjhauta Express blast case and close it too”.

He said the affair has weakened India’s position in the world in tackling terrorism.

Sharma also said that a clean chit to Sadhvi Pragya and others in the 2008 Malegaon blast case was an insult to police officer Hemant Karkare, who initially investigated it as chief of Maharashtra’s ATS. Karkare was killed in the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai.

–IANS

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