Probing the 2007 murder of RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has concluded that one of the reasons for his killing was the alleged “sexual advances” he made towards Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, already named an accused in the case by police in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh.
The ailing Sadhvi, who is also an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, is set to figure in a NIA chargesheet to be filed next week in the Joshi murder case. She and four others are expected to be charged under provisions of the Arms Act and not the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. She is the only one to be named in both chargesheets — of the Dewas police and NIA — in the case.
The NIA claimed that one of the motives for the murder was the “sexual advances’’ made by Joshi. According to the agency, Pragya was wary of Joshi, believing he would spill the beans on the terror plots. The NIA chargesheet is likely to mention that in a bid to prevent Joshi from speaking about the Ajmer blasts, Pragya kept Anandraj Kataria in her house for almost 10 days. Although Dewas police named Kataria as an accused, he does not figure in the final NIA list of accused in the Joshi murder case.
The contours of the murder probe have changed since 2011 when the first chargesheet was filed by Dewas police, and this happened due to the arrest in Mhow of some suspects in the Malegaon blast case. The four — Rajendra Chowdhary, Lokesh Sharma, Jitendra Sharma (a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha) and Balbir Singh — will now be chargesheeted with Pragya for Joshi’s murder. A sixth accused, Dilip Jagtap, has turned approver in the case.
The NIA claims that Rajendra and Lokesh killed Joshi on the night of December 29, 2007 in Dewas while the pistols and magazine were procured and hidden by Jitendra Sharma and Balbir Singh respectively. A forensic examination proved that the firearms matched the casings recovered from the murder scene.
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The probe agency claims that Lokesh, Rajendra and Joshi were part of a “larger conspiracy’’ and were planning more blasts directed at Muslims.
The NIA recorded the statement of RSS functionary Sheetal Gahlot who said that after Joshi’s murder, it was Pragya and Ramji Kalsangre, an absconder and accused in the Samjhauta blast case, who went to the pracharak’s ashram in Dewas and removed two bags of arms and explosives. Gahlot claimed some of it was taken away by Kalsangre and the rest dumped in a river by Chanchal Joshi, the murdered pracharak’s niece.
In her statement, Chanchal said that after the murder, Pragya came to their house and left with a briefcase with some papers which were later taken away by Kalsangre.