The Congress Sunday blamed the Prime Minister’s Office for National Investigation Agency’s U-turn in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case and demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the development.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma alleged “direct interference” of the PMO in the “sudden reversal” of NIA’s stand in the case, even as he expressed fears that that Samjhauta Express blast case could meet the same fate.
“The NIA (National Investigation Agency) has become ‘NaMo Investigation Agency’,” Sharma said at a press conference, while demanding an SC-monitored probe in the “sudden reversal” leading to exoneration of six accused, including Sadhvi Pragya, and the “dilution” of the case against the remaining accused on account of withdrawal of MCOCA and other charges. He alleged that the chargesheet appeared to be aimed at “decimating and demolishing” the “meticulous” probe conducted by Maharashtra ATS then led by slain IPS officer Hemant Karkare.
“There was direct interference from the PMO…from his (PM’s) office, I have said it earlier and everything is being proved, a dirty tricks department is being run. This government is centrally co-ordinated,” Sharma said.
He claimed that Col P S Purohit, an accused in the case, had allegedly written a letter to NSA Ajit Doval on January 6 that reached the Home Ministry on January 8, and on January 9, the Home Ministry “started working” on it. “…I have not seen such speed in movement of even files in the government,” he said.
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Congress spokesperson RPN Singh said: “I want to know how many letters the NSA receives from such terrorists and has he forwarded it to the Home Ministry for action? If this is how the terror cases will be politicised, then it is a matter of concern.”
“Our demand is clear. We insist the Prime Minister, when he takes oath, he doesn’t belong to a particular party, ideology, but is the Prime Minister of India and should discharge duties in line with the oath,” Sharma said.
While pressing for SC-monitored probe, Sharma said the apex court should “seize” all the papers relating to the case, the confessional statements, the chargesheet and the correspondence between government, NIA and attorney general; NIA and Home Ministry, and between Home Ministry, Home Secretary and the PMO.
“Dropping MCOCA means, the recorded statements which courts accept as evidences, will be useless now,” he said.
Speaking about the Samjhauta blast case, Sharma alleged that the NIA was working in a direction similar to the Malegaon case. He alleged that news was being “planted” that “information had been received in 2009, through US, that some other outfits were behind this (Samjhauta Express blast)… And who gave the information? I am telling you today, it is some jihadi who is in a jail in the US since 2003.
And he is giving information about 2007 Samjhauta blast case.”
Accusing the government of intervening in the functioning of investigative agencies and prosecution dealing with the case, he cited the claim made by former special public prosecutor in the case, Rohini Salian, that she was “pressurised to go soft” on the accused.