May 15, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi: After the special NIA court acquitted pro-hindutva leader and main accuse in the Ajmer Sharif Blast case that took place on 11th October 2007 Swami Aseemanand on 8th March 2017, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) is unlikely to inhibit his release proceedings by appealing against the court’s verdict.
It was reported by the media that if the, NIA goes ahead with the verdict it would be the fourth instance of the probe agency deciding against challenging court orders that let perpetrators of brutal attacks off the hook.
“I cannot confirm or deny anything,” NIA chief Sharad Kumar told the media.
It was back in October 2007 when an explosion rocked a famous shrine in Rajisthan dedicated to Sufi saint Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer city in which three people were killed. A special NIA court in Jaipur convicted three of the accused — Sunil Joshi, Devendra Gupta and Bhavesh Patel — of the crime in April, while acquitting Aseemanand and six others. He was accused of mentoring Sunil Joshi, the ring leader of a pro Hindutva group Abhinav Bharti an offshoot of the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) accused of carrying out serial blasts across the country.
The latter was murdered in December 2007, the other two were sentenced to life imprisonment. If the NIA doesn’t challenge the acquittal of the seven people, the judgment of the lower court will be considered final, says media sources.
Aseemanand is also facing trial in two other blast cases involving the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and the Samjhauta Express. As the NIA did not challenge the bail orders received by the former RSS activist in both the cases, he was released from Hyderabad jail last month (1st April) on conditional bail. He had spent over six years in various prisons.
The NIA had filed charges against five people, including main accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, for Joshi’s murder in August 2014. The agency said the killing was not linked to any wider Hindutva conspiracy. A court acquitted all the accused in February, reads a quote from a report published in an English vernacular.
Earlier in May, the NIA let Sadhvi Pragya Thakur off the hook in the 2008 Malegaon bombings although she had been formally charged by the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad seven years earlier, as she was granted bail in this case by the Bombay High Court co-accuse in this case Col Prashant Shrikant Purohit who along with sadhvi Pragya Thakur too applied for bail plea but was rejected on the very same day.
When asked for his take on the acquittals in the Ajmer blast case, Sharad Kumar said: “The investigation in the case was completed before I took charge of the agency. Therefore, I cannot comment on it,” notes Hindustan Times (HT).
Bhavesh Patel in written statement reportedly said that he had contacted Congress leader Digvijaya Singh through spiritual leader Acharya Pramod Krishnan after his name surfaced in the case. Digvijay Singh, in turn, arranged for a meeting with then ministers of state for home RPN Singh and Sriprakash Jaiswal as well as Sushil Kumar Shinde, their superior in the home ministry, media sources said.
He further claimed that they promised to release him on bail if he cooperates with the NIA and turns approver. However, they refused to help because he would not name RSS leaders Mohan Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar in his statement.