NIA to probe all right-wing terror cases

The Home Ministry will hand over all seven terror cases involving right wing groups to the NIA.

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2011, 22:53 PM IST

New Delhi: Notwithstanding the reluctance
of Madhya Pradesh government to hand over the probe into the
murder of RSS activist Sunil Joshi, an accused in Samjhauta
Express blast case, the Centre is all set to ask National
Investigation Agency (NIA) for a thorough probe relating to
Hindu terror groups.

The Union Home Ministry is expected to issue a notification
soon in the cases, where right-wing terror groups` involvement
has surfaced, to the NIA, which is already probing the blast
in Samjhuta Express -- rail link between India and Pakistan --
in which more than 65 people were killed, official sources
said.

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

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

After taking an in-principle decision to hand over all
seven terror cases involving right wing extremist groups to
the NIA, the Home Ministry sought the opinion from the
respective agencies currently investigating them.

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, in the case, Madhya
Pradesh government contends that there was no terror angle in
the Joshi murder case.

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 NCP.

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
Joshi.

PTI