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MP govt says no to NIA for Sunil Joshi murder case

Madhya Pradesh Govt has put a spanner in the efforts of Union Home Ministry to have a combined investigation of all cases related to Hindu terror groups by refusing to hand over the murder case of RSS activist Sunil Joshi.

New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Government has
put a spanner in the efforts of Union Home Ministry to have a
combined investigation of all cases related to Hindu terror
groups by refusing to hand over the murder case of RSS
activist Sunil Joshi, an accused in Samjhauta blast case.

The Centre had asked the Madhya Pradesh Government to
handover the probe of Sunil Joshi murder case to NIA to which
the state government said that the investigations into the
case had been completed and a chargesheet filed in the court.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters here
after presenting his monthly report that "..Sunil Joshi is not
a case to be transferred. That is a little more complicated...
they (NIA) have to apply in the court under different sections
of the Act. They will apply to the court."

The question was asked after Chidambaram presented the
March report of his ministry in which he stated that two cases,
Malegaon 2006 and Mecca Masjid, were now being probed by
the National Investigation Agency.

He said all other cases would be transferred once the
Centre gets the views of the state governments concerned. "It
is a matter of time before the cases are identified to the
NIA," he said.

The Union Home Ministry has issued notification in the
two cases, where right-wing terror groups` involvement has
surfaced, to be investigated by the NIA, which is already
probing the blast in Samjhauta Express, rail link between
India and Pakistan, in which more than 65 people were

The Ministry has already sent a proposal to the Law
Ministry seeking its legal opinion in the wake of absence of a
nod from the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, official
sources said.

Madhya Pradesh government has charge-sheeted some
people, including Sadhvi Praghya Thakur, an accused in
the Malegaon 2008 case, in connection with the murder of
Joshi, an accused in Samjhauta Express blast case and three
other cases.

The NIA Act empowers the Centre to unilaterally hand
over any terror case to the agency and does not require the
state government`s consent. However Madhya Pradesh government
contends that there was no terror angle in the murder of

The decision to hand over the cases to the NIA was
taken following concerns by security agencies that the
suspects could use differences in the multiple probe at the
trial stage to dilute the cases.

Joshi was shot dead at Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, in
December 2007. Samjhauta blast accused Swami Aseemanand, who
is currently in jail, had in his confessional statement named
Joshi as one of the key conspirators in the right-wing
extremist network.

Of the seven cases, the September 2006 Malegaon blasts
and May 2007 Mecca Masjid blast cases are being probed by CBI.
The October 2007 Ajmer Sharif blast case is being probed by
the Rajasthan ATS while case of September 2008 blasts in
Malegaon is being probed by the Maharashtra ATS.

Rajasthan has a Congress government while in
Maharashtra Congress is running a coalition government with

The February 2007 Samjhauta Express blast and
September 2008 Modasa blast cases have already been taken over
by the NIA.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a key accused in 2008
Malegaon blast case, has been placed under arrest by Madhya
Pradesh Police last month in connection with the murder of


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