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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

NIA clueless over what exactly led to Sunil Joshi’s murder

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 09, 2014
First Published: 23:42 IST(9/8/2014) | Last Updated: 23:50 IST(9/8/2014)

The NIA is yet to find out what exactly was the immediate provocation that forced two associates of Sunil Joshi, former RSS pracharak and the alleged kingpin of a group of Hindu extremists responsible for bomb blasts in mosques and places frequented by Muslims, to shoot him dead.

After a three-year long probe, the agency is ready to file a charge sheet which, NIA sources say, is likely to claim that Joshi was killed by his own men because he ‘misbehaved’ with their female associate Pragya Singh Thakur. The NIA has also concluded that Joshi’s murder was not part of a larger terror conspiracy.

“The alleged incident wherein Joshi ‘misbehaved’ with Pragya in all likelihood took place in 2006. But even after the incident, Joshi and his associates kept working in a tightly knit group and allegedly carried out at least four major bomb blasts — Malegaon (in September, 2006), Samjahuta train (February, 2007), Mecca Masjid (May, 2007) and Ajmer Sharif (October, 2007),” an official source said, adding “Joshi was allegedly shot dead by his two associates — Lokesh Sharma and Rajendra Pehelwan in December, 2007. However, the question the investigators are yet to get an answer to is why Sunil Joshi was murdered in 2007 when the alleged incident of misbehaviour took place in 2006. Why the two men wait for more than a year? What exactly was the immediate provocation to kill Joshi?”

During the UPA regime, the murder case was handed over to the NIA in 2011 along with six other Hindu terror cases as it was suspected that the former RSS pracharak was killed to keep a lid on the identity of the larger conspiracy’s masterminds.

The NIA is approaching the district administration in Dewas, where Joshi was killed, for seeking an approval to file the charge sheet against Pehalwan, Lokesh and Pragya, as it contains charges under arms act.

For filing any charge sheet under the arms act, the probe agency needs prior approval of district authorities.


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