Notwithstanding the reluctance of Madhya Pradesh government to hand over the probe into the murder of RSS activist Sunil Joshi, an accused in Samjhauta Express blast case, the Centre is all set to ask National Investigation Agency (NIA) for a thorough probe relating to Hindu terror groups.
Union Home Ministry is expected to issue a notification soon in the cases, where right-wing terror groups' involvement has surfaced, to the NIA, which is already probing the blast in Samjhuta Express -- rail link between India and Pakistan --in which more than 65 people were killed, official sources said.
The Ministry has already sent a proposal to the Law Ministry to seek its legal opinion in the wake of absence of a nod from the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, the sources said.
Madhya Pradesh government has already charge-sheeted some people, including Sadhvi Praghya Thakur, an accused in the Malegaon 2008 case, in connection with the murder of Joshi, an accused in Samjhauta Express blast case and three other cases.
After taking an in-principle decision to hand over all seven terror cases involving right wing extremist groups to the NIA, the Home Ministry sought the opinion from the respective agencies currently investigating them.
The NIA Act empowers the Centre to unilaterally hand over any terror case to the agency and does not require the state government's consent. However, in the case, Madhya Pradesh government contends that there was no terror angle in the Joshi murder case.
The decision to hand over the cases to the NIA was taken following concerns by security agencies that the suspects could use differences in the multiple probe at the trial stage to dilute the cases.
Joshi was shot dead at Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, in December 2007. Samjhauta blast accused Swami Aseemanand, who is currently in jail, had in his confessional statement named Joshi as one of the key conspirators in the right-wing extremist network.
Of the seven cases, the September 2006 Malegaon blasts and May 2007 Mecca Masjid blast cases are being probed by CBI. The October 2007 Ajmer Sharif blast case is being probed by the Rajasthan ATS while case of September 2008 blasts in Malegaon is being probed by the Maharashtra ATS.
Rajasthan has a Congress government while in Maharashtra Congress is running a coalition government with NCP.
The February 2007 Samjhauta Express blast and September 2008 Modasa blast cases have already been taken over by the NIA.
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a key accused in 2008 Malegaon blast case, has been placed under arrest by Madhya Pradesh Police last month in connection with the murder of Joshi.