Monday, June 29, 2015

NIA has failed to gather any fresh proof in Hindu terror cases: Rohini Salian - By Krishna Kumar, ET Bureau - THE ECONOMIC TIMES, MUMBAI, INDIA

The Economic Times

NIA has failed to gather any fresh proof in Hindu terror cases: Rohini Salian

By Krishna Kumar, ET Bureau | 29 Jun, 2015, 05.37AM IST

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MUMBAI: The National Investigation Agency has failed to add a single piece of new evidence in the case over Malegaon blasts and other 'Hindu' terror acts, Rohini Salian, special public prosecutor in the case, has alleged.
Since the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was specially formed after the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in 2008 to investigate terror attacks in the country, took over the blasts case in which Hindu radical groups are accused from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in 2011, it has not moved forward at all, Salian told ET.
All the breakthroughs were primarily the result of the hard work of former ATS chief Hemant Karkare who was killed in action in the Mumbai terror attack in 2008, she said.
"They have not been able to bring anything new about the case, since the NIA took over the trial. Not a single piece of paper has been submitted to the court. In fact, they could not even file the chargesheet on time, which led to three of the accused being let off on bail," Salian said.
This despite prime accused Aseemanand's confession about the involvement of Hindu radical groups in the Samjhauta, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts in 2006, to name a few, the NIA has not been able to gather any new piece of evidence.
NIA officials could not be reached for a comment. 

The NIA has tried to cast aspersions on Salian by insinuating that she was making up the allegations since the agency was planning to remove her as its special public prosecutor as she had "failed to perform". 

But, both former ATS officials and senior public prosecutors have come out strongly in support of Salian. 

Former special public prosecutor for the Maharashtra government in the Bombay High Court, Pandurang Pol, slammed the NIA for questioning Salian's credibility. "Public prosecutors face pressure from government as well as bureaucrats and police officers to favour the accused once the case comes to trial. I have not encouraged any of them. However, the pressure is always there. Salian is one of the best prosecutors and she should be commended for speaking out the truth," Pol said. 

A former ATS officer, who was part of Karkare's team, said, "Till the case was with us we were hunting for Aseemanand as we knew he was the crucial link and from the interrogation of the accused like Col Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya we knew that the 2008 blasts in Malegaon was not a one off incident. 

All that the NIA had to do was to put together the pieces that were already there. Instead it is obvious what it is trying to do." While the BJP is being cornered by Congress on this issue, Salian's assertions are also bound to put the Congress in a piquant spot. 

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