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He was my guruji. How could I have killed him, asks Sadhvi Pragya after acquittal in Sunil Joshi murder

The first thing the 40-year-old did after his acquittal was to go to the spot in Chuna Khadan locality where Joshi was shot dead on December 29, 2007.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Dewas |
Updated: February 3, 2017 3:02:41 am
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“He was my role model. I learnt patriotism from him. I was like his shadow for years. Wherever he went, I followed him. If people saw him, they knew I would be around. He was my guruji. How could I have killed him?” asked Vasudev Parmar, one of the eight persons acquitted in connection with the murder of former RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi.

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The first thing the 40-year-old did after his acquittal was to go to the spot in Chuna Khadan locality where Joshi was shot dead on December 29, 2007. There he paid tribute by offering flowers and lighting incense sticks. Accompanying him were BJP leader Ramcharan Patel, Anandraj Kataria and Jitendra Sharma, three other accused in the case who were acquitted with Parmar.

Parmar and Patel are based in Dewas while Anandraj and Sharma hail from Indore and Mhow, respectively.

Parmar said he ran a photo studio in 2010 when the Madhya Pradesh ATS “illegally took him into custody”. He said he was kept in a dingy room in Bhopal for a month before being handed over to Dewas police. “They tortured me in Bhopal. The NIA officials treated us well. I think I walked free due to the NIA because they never considered me an accused,’’ said Parmar, who now runs a PDS shop.

Ramcharan Patel, 51, was a BJP councillor when he was arrested for allegedly destroying cellphones found near Joshi’s body. He runs a dhaba near the spot where the murder took place.

Though elder to Joshi, Patel addressed him as guruji. “I observe his death anniversary every year. If he had mistreated us, why would we remember him fondly,” said Patel, who ran a much smaller eatery in 2007.

The two were in touch with Joshi, who was then hiding from police after being charged in the double murder case of a tribal Congress leader and his son.

Patel said officials of Rajasthan ATS did not let him sleep for five days and subjected him to psychological torture. “They would tell me how bad life would be in jail. They would tell me Joshi was a dreaded terrorist involved in several blast cases,’’ he said.

A former kabaddi player, Patel said he thought he would never come out clean. “People still look at us with suspicion.’’

The two said they had lost count of the agencies and officials that questioned them. Both insist they never felt Joshi was involved in any of the crimes he was associated with after his death. “He was not around to defend himself.’’

They claimed they had no idea if Joshi made advances towards Sadhvi Pragya Singh — a point NIA made in its supplementary chargesheet.

Joshi’s family was not even aware that all the accused had been acquitted. “We don’t buy newspapers. We did not watch news on Wednesday and no one told me,” said Shailaja, his sister-in-law, who is a cook in a hostel. “Pragya was involved. The RSS leaders who used to frequent our home before the murder no longer visit us,’’ she added.

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