The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested its first accused in connection with murder of former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Sunil Joshi who led a group of right wing extremists that targeted mosques and Muslims in retaliation of jehadi terrorism.
“We have arrested Balveer from Shipra area of Indore. He was produced before the special NIA court in Bhopal. The court has remanded him to the NIA custody for interrogation in the Sunil Joshi murder case,” said a senior NIA official.
Investigators say Balveer is close associate of Lokesh Sharma who planted bomb in the Samjhauta Express train and shot at SAR Geelani, a Delhi college lecturer acquitted in the Parliament attack case of 2001. During search at his residence, the NIA team recovered a magazine of 9MM pistol.
“Sunil Joshi was also shot dead with 9MM pistol on December 29, 2007. We are yet to ascertain the exact role of Balveer in the case. Besides, we also have see whether the magazine recovered from his residence is connected with the Sunil Joshi murder case,” said the official.
So far the NIA investigation has revealed that Samjhauta Express bomb planters Lokesh Sharma and Rajendra Pehelwan alias Samandar shot dead Sunil Joshi who was once the leader of their group. But they are yet to be arrested formally in the case.
The murder case was initially investigated by the Madhya Pradesh police that even filed a chargesheet in the case against five accused including Pragya Singh Thakur. But the NIA investigators believe that Joshi was murdered at the behest of his patrons to silence him forever as he had started boasting about his ‘deeds’ and even wanted to own up their responsibility by surrendering before the court. As his murder was linked with the overall right wing terror conspiracy, the case was handed over to the NIA.