New Delhi: A war of words has begun between the ruling BJP and the Congress with the former blaming the latter of falsely implicating saints like Sadhvi Pragya in the Malegaon blast case, while the latter hitting back, saying the Centre was trying to save the accused.
Asserting that there should be no interference at any level in the handling of the Malegaon blast case, the Centre on Friday accused the former UPA regime of coining slogans like 'Hindu-terror and saffron terror' which tarnished the entire community.
"We found earlier that the UPA government has pressurised and influenced certain government on the basis of political motivated campaign by coining wrongful slogans like Hindu-terror or saffron terror which tarnished the whole community," Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju was quoted as saying by the ANI.
Rijiju added that the Congress had by giving a communal tinge to the entire issue managed to take the case into one direction which was a strong religion connotation and has 'done a lot of damage to the country'.
"What our government is doing is that the investigative agencies have been given absolutely freedom to take action on the basis of available circumstances and evidences and as per the direction of the court," Rijiju said.
Reacting to the development, RSS leader Indresh Kumar said, ''It was all a planned conspiracy to defame patriots.''
Meanwhile, noted lawyer M Jethmalani said, ''Evidence against Sadhvi Pragya were far short of implicating her, we were certain there was no case against her.''
Earlier today, the NIA gave a clean chit and removed Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur and five others from the list of the accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blasts case, paving the way for their early release from prison.
The Sadhvi's lawyer Sanjiv Punalekar said that the NIA decided to drop charges against her under the dreaded Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) due to lack of sufficient evidence.
The NIA has also decided to drop MCOCA charges against all the accused, he added.
The anti-terror agency later filed a chargesheet in the case in a special court.
On September 29, 2008, two bombs planted on motorcycles exploded in Malegaon town, Nashik district, killing seven and injuring 80 others. It was later touted as the first terror case involving the hitherto unknown "Hindu extremists".