Hindutva terror cases will be ‘made to collapse’ by government, says Chidambaram
All terror cases involving right-wing Hindutva groups will be “made to collapse” in courts as the NDA government is using investigation agencies to advance its “political objective”, former home minister P Chidambaram has said.Updated: Feb 18, 2017, 16:37 IST
All terror cases involving right-wing Hindutva groups will be “made to collapse” in courts as the NDA government is using investigation agencies to advance its “political objective”, former home minister P Chidambaram has said.
His remarks came a fortnight after a Dewas court acquitted Sadhvi Pragya in Sunil Joshi murder case. Joshi was the alleged mastermind of what came to be known as “Hindu terror” that was linked to right-wing group Abhinav Bharat and some individuals associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The National Investigation Agency (NIA) dropped all charges against Pragya and 5 others in 2008 Malegaon blast case last year. Many witnesses have turned hostile in 2007 Ajmer Dargah and Samjhauta Express blasts cases.
Asked how the so-called Hindutva terror cases—transferred from states to the NIA during his tenure as union home minister-- were falling apart, Chidambaram told HT: “It shows how the investigation agency is being used to advance their (the ruling party’s) political objective. How can witness after witness turn hostile? Is there not a single witness who will come and depose?”
“If this is the truth, then take action against those officers who took the statement. It cannot be that the set of officers who recorded the statement and the set of officers, who are now watching helplessly as witness after witness turns hostile, both cannot be discharging their duties. One (set) of then has failed to do his duty. They are pursuing a political agenda. In all these cases, every case will be made to collapse.”
The former home minister said that when he was in office, he didn’t give any instruction to the NIA or whichever agency was investigating. “The court is the place where the investigation must be monitored and must be properly guided. And the court was doing its job. But the government changes, everything changes. What kind of criminal law administration is this?”
A group of Hindutva extremists, allegedly led by former RSS pracharak Joshi, were chargesheeted by the NIA in a series of blasts—in Malegaon (2006), Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif (all in 2007), and in Malegaon and Modasa (2008). NIA officials maintain that what made their task difficult was the fact they were asked to investigate these cases in 2011 and by that time many ‘leads’ had gone dry. Besides, Sunil Joshi, the alleged mastermind, was murdered in December 2007, making it difficult for the agency to establish the conspiracy.
The NIA had earlier come under flak after one of its special prosecutors in Mumbai, Rohini Salian, alleged that she was asked to go soft in the Malegaon case by one of the agency officials. The NIA rebutted her charge.