December 3, 2013 1:11:30 am
Former Bajrang Dal and VHP office-bearer Jitendra Sharma,arrested by the NIA two days ago in the Sunil Joshi murder case,actively campaigned for Cabinet Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya,the BJP candidate from Mhow.
Sharma of Mhow,a cantonment town near Indore,is a lawyer and practises in both towns. The Indore rural vice-president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha has denied any role in the murder.
The NIA appears to have waited for voting on November 25 before taking him into custody to prevent a possible backlash. When the agency questioned the 37-year-old early this year,lawyers in Mhow and Indore had struck work. They accused the NIA of harassing Sharma by keeping him in illegal custody because he represented Lokesh Sharma,an accused in several cases of alleged saffron terror and the mysterious murder of Joshi in December 2007 in Dewas.
The NIA,which on Monday got Jitendra Sharmas custody till December 5,claimed he had a role in supplying and concealing the firearm used to kill Joshi,a former RSS pracharak of Mhow who is believed to be the brain behind the Samjhauta Express,Malegaon,Mecca Masjid and other terror attacks.
The agency took over the investigation after the Madhya Pradesh Police filed a chargesheet in a Dewas court. It arrested Lokesh Sharma,Dilip Jagtap and Rajendra Chaudhary but failed to file a chargesheet within the stipulated time. All three got bail by default in the Joshi murder case. Lokesh continues to be in jail for his alleged involvement in other acts of right-wing terror.
All the accused arrested by the NIA in the Joshi case are different from those arrested by the MP Police. The MP police had named six persons,including Pragya Singh Thakur and BJP councillor Ramcharan Patel,in a chargesheet filed in 2011.
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