The Supreme Court today granted bail to Lt Col Srikant Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon blast case which had left six people dead and nearly 100 others injured, leading the BJP to comment that the false political narrative of Hindu terrorism had been busted.
The opposition Congress retaliated that interim bail has no connection with the merit of the case Sadhvi Pragya was earlier granted bail by the Bombay High Court which had rejected the plea of Purohit.
Purohit had moved his bail plea before the apex court after bail was denied in April by the Bombay High Court. The apex court sought a reply from the National Investigation Agency on Purohit’s plea in May. NIA reaffirmed its stand and filed an affidavit stating that Purohit was one of the key conspirators in the 2008 Malegaon blast case and was the founder-member of radical outfit Abhinav Bharat.
The case was initially investigated by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, which in its 2009 charge sheet stated that Purohit collected funds for the organisation which were then used for promoting fundamentalism and unlawful acts. The probe was handed over to the NIA in 2011 along with a clutch of other cases allegedly involving right-wing extremists, including the 2007 Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Dargah bombings. The apex court bench, headed by Justice RK Agarwal, granted bail to Purohit, who had served almost eight years in jail in the case. The Supreme Court said all terms and conditions remained same as with other accused in the case Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. The BJP said the false political narrative of Hindu terrorism has been busted with the Supreme Court granting bail to Lt Col Purohit.
"An attempt was made during the United Progressive Alliance rule to create a political narrative that there was so called Hindu terrorism and investigations were carried out to build upon this narrative," BJP spokesman GVL Narasimha Rao said.He said, "The discrepancies in Maharashtra ATS charge sheet revealed by the NIA clearly showed that there was a politically motivated aim to target some individuals but truth has come out".
The Congress said the bail was not concerned with the merit of the case and it was the trial court that will determine his innocence or guilt. 'Bail is a discretionary power available at any court, and interim bail has no connection with the merit of the case,' Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said at the regular party briefing here while replying to questions on the apex court directive . 'As we understand that the charge sheet had been filed in the case and a trial court will determine innocence or guilt,' Tiwari said. On the NIA’s working, he said it was surprising that the Congress had not found a single competent officer to head the agency. The heads of important institutions should have fixed tenure, so that they could work under pressure, he said
As Lt Col Purohit was granted bail in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, the BJP today alleged that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had “indulged in politicisation of terror” and demanded that they apologise to the country.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao accused the main opposition party of “attempts to defame the Hindu community in particular and Indians in general”.
Reacting to Purohit’s bail, the Congress accused the BJP-led government at the Centre of “protecting” all the accused “connected to the RSS”.
Countering the opposition party’s allegations, Rao claimed that investigations were “fixed” during the UPA government tenure to give credence to its political narrative of Hindu and saffron terror.
“Sonia and Rahul must apologise to the country for indulging in politicisation of terror and for its attempts to defame the Hindu community in particular and Indians in general,” Rao said.He said, "The discrepancies in Maharashtra ATS charge sheet revealed by the NIA clearly showed that there was a politically motivated aim to target some individuals but truth has come out".
Magisterial Probe Ordered Against Manohar Narwariya In 2006 Malegaon Blast. He claimed that the conspiracy was also to “besmirch the excellent reputation of the Indian army,” and it is a “nasty habit that the Congress continues to follow .