Malegaon ​blasts case: I am not a criminal, will be acquitted, says Sadhvi Pragya Thakur

 Sadhvi Pragya Thakur said on Wednesday that she was not a criminal and would be acquitted.

Last Updated: May 19, 2016, 00:46 AM IST
Malegaon ​blasts case: I am not a criminal, will be acquitted, says Sadhvi Pragya Thakur
Pic courtesy - ANI

Ujjain: Sadhvi Pragya Thakur said on Wednesday that she was not a criminal and would be acquitted.

"NIA has given right direction to Malegaon probe. I am not a criminal, will be acquitted," Thakur said, adding, "Delayed justice itself is injustice."

"Now that I've been given clean chit, I believe investigation is going in right direction. I've always said I'm not the culprit," she maintained.

Thakur today broke her two-day-long hunger strike by drinking a glass of juice offered by a child at Vande Mataram Ashram of Vishwa Hindu Parishad here.

She called off her fast as the authorities made the arrangements for her to visit the ongoing Kumbh Mela here.

On May 13, in a complete U-turn, the NIA had dropped all charges against Thakur and five others in the 2008 Malegaon blast case while charges under the stringent MCOCA law had been given up against all the other 10 accused including Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit.

During investigation, "sufficient evidences have not been found against" Pragya Singh Thakur and five others, the NIA had said, adding that it had submitted in the chargesheet "that the prosecution against them is not maintainable", as per PTI.

Seven people were killed in twin blasts when people were coming out of prayers during Ramzan in September 29, 2008.

The case was investigated initially by Joint Commissioner of Mumbai's ATS Hemant Karkare who was killed during the 26/11 Mumbai attack. Before the NIA took over the case in 2011, ATS had booked 16 people but filed charge sheets on January 20, 2009 and April 21, 2011 against 14 accused in a Mumbai court.

Purohit and Pragya had moved several applications before Bombay High Court and Supreme Court challenging the chargesheet and applicability of stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the case.

Shiv Narayan Kalsangra, Shyam Bhavarlal Sahu, Praveen Takkalki, Lokesh Sharma and Dhan Singh Choudhury are the other five accused against whom charges were dropped besides Sadhvi.

The agency had also said in its chargesheet, "In furtherance of same, the confessional statements recorded under provisions of MCOC Act by ATS Mumbai have not been relied up on by the NIA in submitting the present Final report."

Lt Col Purohit and nine others will now be tried for charges including murder and conspiracy under the provisions of anti-terror law UAPA, IPC, Arms Act and Explosives Substance Act.

Sadhvi is currently in judicial custody and undergoing treatment at the Ayurvedic hospital.

(With Agency inputs)