The National Investigation Agency filed Monday a closure report in its probe against RSS leader Indresh Kumar, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and two others in connection with the 2007 Ajmer dargah blast. The closure report, in a special court in Rajasthan, were filed on the directions of the court that had earlier said these suspects had been exonerated without following legal procedure. Last month, the court had acquitted Swami Assemanand and convicted Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel and the late Sunil Joshi.
Indresh Kumar’s name had first cropped up during investigations by the Rajasthan ATS, which named him in its 2010 chargesheet, though not as an accused. The Rajasthan ATS had said a meeting on terror conspiracies was held in the guesthouse of the Gujarati Samaj near M I Road on October 31, 2005, and it was attended by Indresh, Sadhvi Thakur, Joshi, Ramji Kalsangra, Gupta, Lokesh Sharma and Sandeep Dange. The ATS had claimed Indresh had suggested the others attach themselves to some religious organisation so that they could carry out their plan without being suspected.
The sadhvi’s name too figures in the context of this meeting. However, neither the ATS nor the NIA could come up with concrete evidence of active involvement of the two in the blast. Neither was chargesheeted by the NIA. Bharat Ratishwar, accused and acquitted, had said in his statement that after the blast Joshi had called him and said, “Humne patakhe phod diye.” He had said Joshi had informed him that Indresh was aware of it. This statement was retracted later.
The two other accused against whom NIA filed a closure report are Ramesh Venkat Mahalkar alias Amit Hakla alias Prince, and Rajendra Chaudhary alias Pehelwan. Hakla had been suspected of a role in planting the bombs, according to the NIA. However, the agency could never arrest him, nor was it able to find concrete evidence.
Chaudhary was seen as a suspect initially as he was believed to be part of the group nurtured and led by Joshi. The NIA has not been able to establish the role played by Chaudhary in the Ajmer blast and said it had no evidence to prove his involvement.
“The closure report states that the NIA does not have any evidence against Indresh Kumar, Sadhvi Pragya, Ramesh Venkatrao Mahalkar alias Prince and Rajendra. Besides the witnesses against these accused also turned hostile,” public prosecutor Ashwani Sharma told The Indian Express. “Two other accused, Jayant Bhai alias Ustad and Ramesh Gohil alias Ghanshyam are dead.”
Three other accused, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange and Suresh Nair, are still on the run.
The prosecution has written to the NIA director general seeking his response on what efforts the agency has made to arrest these three. “Besides, we have also written to district collectors of Indore and Kozhikode as to why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for not providing details of the properties of Kalsangra (Indore) and Nair (Kozhikode),” Sharma said.