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NIA will not oppose Pragya’s bail plea in Malegaon blasts

mumbai Updated: Jun 06, 2016 12:29 IST

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will not oppose bail application of Pragya Singh Thakur in the 2008 Malegaon blast case when it comes up for hearing in a special court in Mumbai on Monday.

But as far as her final discharge in the case is concerned, the NIA will leave the decision at the discretion of the court.

The NIA’s decision comes after its clean chit to Pragya in the case. “We are following the precedent set in the 2006 or first Malegaon blast case wherein also the federal anti-terror agency did not oppose bail applications of nine Muslim accused, charged by the Maharashtra ATS and the CBI but absolved by the NIA,” said a senior official of the federal anti-terror agency who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Pragya emerged as one of prominent faces of what came to be known as Hindu terror cases after her arrest in October, 2008 in the second Malegaon blast case. She has been behind bars since then.

In the first incident, twin explosions left 37 people dead and the second incident left four dead and around 70 injured.

The first blast was initially probed by the Maharashtra ATS and later by the CBI and both the agencies charged same set of nine Muslims in the case. But the NIA, which was handed over the probe along with five other cases wherein involvement of Hindu extremists had been suspected, gave clean chit to the Muslim accused and charged more than half a dozen Hindu accused in the case.

After filing charge sheet against Hindu accused in the 2006, the NIA did not oppose bail applications of nine Muslims.

“The court after reviewing the three charge sheets found merit in our probe and discharged Muslims on April 25. Similarly we will not oppose Pragya’s bail. And as far as her final discharge is concerned, it will be decided by the court,” said the NIA official.

First Published: Jun 06, 2016 12:29 IST