Updated: August 21, 2017 8:33:11 pm
The Congress and the BJP government on Monday traded barbs at each other, with the former accusing the latter of “protecting” all the accused “connected to the RSS” after the Supreme Court granted bail to Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit, the key accused in the 2008 Malegaon serial blasts case. The opposition party also raised questions over National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief Sharad Kumar getting two extensions and expressed hope that justice would be delivered in the case “without fear or favour”.
“Col Purohit gets Bail. It was expected as the present BJP Govt is protecting all the accused connected with RSS in all Bomb Blast cases (sic),” Congress leader Digivijaya Singh wrote on Twitter. “NIA chief has been given two extensions to ensure their acquittal. He may now be further rewarded for a suitable post retirement position (sic),” he said, in another tweet.
Col Purohit gets Bail. It was expected as the present BJP Govt is protecting all the accused connected with RSS in all Bomb Blast cases.
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) August 21, 2017
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Echoing similar views, All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of communications department Randeep Singh Surjewala wondered why the Narendra Modi-led government was struggling to find an efficient police officer to head the NIA, so much so that it gave two extensions to its current chief. “Why is that the (Narendra) Modi government cannot find any competent police officer in India to head the NIA that they have to give two extensions to its current chief?
“We sincerely hope that the law will take its own course and justice will be done, free from fear or favour, in this case,” he added.
Dismissing Congress’ accusations, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju hit back at the Congress and said whoever deserved justice would get it. “What is the conspiracy about it? The Congress has the habit of raising this issue. Why should we intervene? This is a process (that was) started a long time back and it’s a process of the judiciary. Why should we intervene?
“Whosoever deserves justice will get it. My saying anything won’t change it,” he told mediapersons on the sidelines of an event of the border guarding force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). He also refrained from responding to Digvijaya Singh’s comment on the issue. “He (Singh) has the habit of saying all these things. Why should I respond to that?,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi accused the Modi-led government of going soft on the cases where the Hindus are alleged accused. “In the larger picture, since 2014, since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the charge at the Centre, there has been a pattern in such cases. All the cases involving the Hindus as the alleged accused are dropped,” Owaisi was quoted as saying by ANI. Stating that everyone has the right to bail, Owaisi questioned as to why it is not being granted to Muslims, Dalits and tribals.
On the other hand, the Shiv Sena welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to grant bail to Purohit and hailed him as a “hero” who fought against terrorists.”Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit is a hero of the nation. He fought against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir without bothering about his life,” Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told mediapersons when asked about the SC ruling.
While setting aside the Bombay High Court order which denied him the bail, the apex court stated that it has imposed certain conditions on Purohit, who spent eight years and eight months in jail. The Supreme Court said Purohit would not leave India with prior permission of the court and not directly or indirectly make any inducement to any witnesses.
Seven people were killed in the bomb blast that took place on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of north Maharashtra.
With PTI, ANI inputs
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