Pragya Thakur, accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), will have to wait a little while longer to be released from jail. The prosecution on Monday sought time to file a reply to the bail application filed by her advocate, JP Mishra, after which the court adjourned the case until June 6.
Mishra filed a bail application, seeking Thakur’s early release on the grounds that the NIA has not pressed charges against her owing to lack of evidence, and because her health is deteriorating.
Mishra contended that Thakur had no idea how her motorbike was used in the blast and that she had never given her consent for this. He also said that the bike had been sold long before the incident.
The bail application also stated that Thakur has several health issues, including breast cancer, and that doctors have recommended surgery to stop the cancer from spreading.
Meanwhile, two other suspects, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Pravin Takkalki, against whom the prosecution has dropped all charges, have also applied for bail.
The NIA had on May 13 filed a supplementary charge sheet in the case, in which it dropped all the charges against Thakur and five others for lack of evidence, saying a shoddy probe by Maharashtra authorities had forced the U-turn.
The agency also revoked charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and alleged that the ATS had planted explosives on one of the accused.
The September 2008 blast in Muslim-majority Malegaon killed six people and injured 101. It was the most prominent in a string of alleged Hindu terror attacks.