NIA set to take over all cases from states, CBI
The government is set to hand over all seven cases of saffron terror — under investigation by the CBI or state police forces — to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
An informal decision has been taken in the context of mounting concerns within the security establishment that the suspects could use differences in the multiple investigations at the trial stage to dilute the cases.
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.
The home ministry had, however, asked states and the CBI for their opinion days after HT highlighted on February 8 how probe agencies were pulling the cases in different directions.
“The Maharashtra and Rajasthan governments and the CBI conveyed that they didn’t mind transferring the cases to the NIA,” a senior government source told HT.
The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh , however, did not respond. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told HT in January he wouldn’t transfer the murder case of Sunil Joshi, a former RSS man whose name figured in four of the cases.But the Centre plans to persuade the state as Joshi’s murder was linked to saffron terror.
That the MP Police accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, one of the terror accused, of involvement in Joshi’s murder proved this conclusion was not political but based on evidence, a police officer said.