Since this new govt came, I have been told to go soft on accused (Hindu extremists): Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian

Rohini Salian said she wants the NIA to officially denotify her from the case to which she was appointed in 2008, 'so that I am free to take up other cases, against the NIA, if need be'.

Written by Sunanda Mehta | Mumbai/pune | Updated: June 25, 2015 4:16 pm
2008 Malegaon blasts, Malegaon blasts case, malegaon, Rohini Salian, bjp government, Hindu extremists, nda government, narendra modi, Malegaon 2008 blasts, Malegaon Hindu extremists, National Investigation Agency, NIA, Hindu extremist cases, Malegaon accused, Malegaon blast accused, india news, nation news Rohini Salian said she wants the NIA to officially denotify her from the case to which she was appointed in 2008, ‘so that I am free to take up other cases, against the NIA, if need be’.

Rohini Salian, Special Public Prosecutor in the case related to the Malegaon 2008 blasts in which four Muslims were killed during Ramzan and in which Hindu extremists are the accused, has said that over the past one year, since “the new government came to power,” she has been under pressure from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to go “soft” in the case.


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Soon after the NDA government came to power last year, she said, she got a call from one of  the officers of the NIA — the agency investigating all the alleged Hindu extremist cases — asking to come over to speak with her. “He didn’t want to talk over the phone. He came and said to me that there is a message that I should go soft,” Salian told The Indian Express

Also Read: [Interview] The meaning very clearly was, don’t get us favourable orders: Rohini Salian

Matters came to a head this month, on June 12, she said, when just before one of the regular hearings in the case in the Sessions Court, she was told by the same NIA officer that “higher-ups” did not want her to appear in the court for the State of Maharashtra and that another advocate would attend the proceedings.

Salian, 68, a leading prosecutor who has handled important cases like the J J shootout, Borivili double murder, the Bharat Shah case and the Mulund blasts amongst others, said: “The meaning (of that message from the officer) is very clear — don’t get us favourable orders.”

Also Read: Tracking the Malegaon case: trial court to SC and back

She said she wants the NIA to officially denotify her from the case to which she was appointed in 2008, “so that I am free to take up other cases, against the NIA, if need be”.

The Malegaon blast, on September 29, 2008, claimed four lives and injured 79 while another blast at the same time in Modasa in Gujarat killed one. Initially, Muslims were seen as suspects in the case but it was under Hemant Karkare of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) that investigations led to alleged Hindu extremists based in Indore, as first reported by The Indian Express on October 23, 2010.

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Investigations revealed the blasts were allegedly the handiwork of extremist Hindu organisations. Twelve people were arrested in the case, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit. Of the 12, four are on bail.

That probe — later given over to the NIA that was constituted after the 26/11 terror attack in which Karkare was killed — led to a relook at other cases: Malegaon blasts of 2006 (31 killed, 312 injured); 2007 Ajmer blast (3 killed, 15 injured); 2007 Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad (9 killed, 58 injured); and 2007 Samjhauta Express attack (68 killed, 13 injured). The probe found many common accused in these cases.

Salian said that the Supreme Court has now decreed that the case should be tried in a special court with a specially appointed judge to see to the matter. “So in a way it’s all back to square one,” said Salian.

On April 15, the Supreme Court held that the Malegaon accused cannot be charged under MCOCA since there was no evidence as on date. Opening the doors for their release on bail, it further said that the trial court should decide their bail plea on merit and without applicability of MCOCA, preferably within one month.

This, Salian said, now leaves it open for the accused to once again appeal for bail in the court under changed circumstances.

“A day before June 12, when the case came up again for regular hearing (in the trial court), the same officer who had come to my office came up to me and said there are instructions from higher-ups, someone else will appear instead of you. I said I was expecting this and, good, you have told me this, so please settle my bills…I also said that now they should now denotify me so that I can appear against the NIA in other matters — not this one — in the future. He must have conveyed it to the higher-ups and I am waiting for their action. I have not heard from anyone since then,” said Salian.

“The meaning (of the message from the government) is very clear — don’t get us favourable orders. Unfavourable orders are invited — that goes against the society,” said a perturbed Salian.

When asked how she saw the case proceeding further, Salian said, “For a layman or a fresh prosecutor it’s very difficult — one cannot do anything. Maybe they want to loosen it and ultimately lose the case because they can’t withdraw it.”

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  1. F
    Firoz Alam
    May 13, 2016 at 7:17 pm
    The govt has started showing its true colour. Modi's forked tongue speaks different dialogues meant for different audience. At the world stage he talks of India's secularist character, uphelds consution. Back at home he emboldens the extremist groups either keeping silent or favouring them through indirect means as in the present case. The public prosecutor says she had been asked to go soft on the accused. What message do we he from these ? Now he is not CM of Gujarat, he is PM of India. Any credit or discredit to any of its states, community or group is directly ociated with him. When he compares Kerala with Somaliya he doesn't discredit Chandi, he discredits himself, because the world recognizes him first. Similar is the case of terrorists whether they belong to this or that community. They are engaged in antinational activities. They deserve to be punished.
    1. Devashish Joshi
      May 13, 2016 at 2:54 pm
      That is a sour loss for prosecutor. Instead of talking to press she should have talked to judges.
      1. M
        May 13, 2016 at 7:13 am
        Its not about BJP or Congress or Minority or Majority community. Its about our so called investigation agencies which are under the clutches of politicians who are in power at center. Why one has to believe when muslims get cought by these so called agencies mere on the basis of doubt and project them as terrorist and all sort of false charges. If today NIA says charges against sadhvi or others are false under the pressure from previous government then its also possible in d past ,at present and in future too false cases can be made against innocent muslims as anti nationalist and terrorist. Thats d tragedy in our nation. One community get salugter in day time yet our so called protectors or any other government security department either become blind, or mere spectator or even get involved in the act with murderer ,be it in gujarat, up, madhya pradesh or bihar, am or mumbai. One can reject sri kriahna commission report and challenge the law of land and can threaten yet he is desh bhakt. So sad and pitty. And v as so called civilised society just close our eyes. And yet say all is well. I also want to state if someone is terrorist hang him. But not on mere suious , ruin his and their family life forever.
        1. K
          May 14, 2016 at 10:19 am
          I would suggest you come out of your #andh bhakti and start reading before you talk. This govt did not exposed vyapam rather sting operation by independent people exposed vyapam scam and this scam was started in the tenure of bjp govt only and No govt is not at all willing to investigate matter seriously and avoided it until honorable court interfered and instructed to investigate
          1. K
            May 14, 2016 at 10:14 am
            She is said these things in June last year later she got replaced and see the news today? whatever she said was true true color of govt who is supporting and getting free the Saffron terrorists and now no one can deny this as what she said in June last year became true.
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