Human Rights

Sunil Joshi murder: NIA gets green signal

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New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh chief minister's refusal to hand over Sunil Joshi's murder case to the Centre did not dissuade the Union ministry of home affairs to give a green signal to the NIA to go ahead in the matter. Since Joshi's case is not just one of a murder as it has bearings on several terrorist blasts, the Centre does not need state government's consent and taking suo motu cognisance, it can go ahead. In fact, more than a dozen of central agency officers are already in MP. Some leads on Dange and Kalsangra, including 10 mobile numbers used by the two, have been found. The NIA is tracking these phones to zero in on them.

The recent leakage of Swami Aseemanand's confesion has, in fact, caused hurdles in the investigation. It is feared that the absconders would become alert and so shall be the "hidden" bosses who would take necessary steps to destroy evidence. As Swami Asemmanand had feared in Joshi's case that he was under a death threat so would be the remaining ones who might be eliminated lest they should be caught. There are about 15 such conspirators under the scanner at present. Rewards of Rs 22 lakhs have been announced in case of three persons while other 12 are still being hotly pursued. A warning has been issued to the officer found involved in leaking the confession.

Three persons arrested recently by MP police – Harshad Solanki, Vasudev Parmar and Anand Raj Kataria, are only foot soldiers. Digvijay Singh, while demanding NIA probe in the matter said, "orders for elimination of Joshi came from the top in the RSS. The MP police will never probe that aspect."

As a show of strength, 20,000 RSS activists marched on 16 January in Dewas where Joshi was killed. The rally strongly criticised Centre for maligning RSS.

The MHA has also decided to call a coordination meeting of the CBI, NIA, Rajasthan ATS and Maharashtra ATS every month for a focussed crackdown on Hindutva terror.

In fact, the CBI wants a fortnight meeting. The complex interconnections between people and incidents in the four cases necessitate such frequent interaction between the agencies. …. "Sharing of information…. will be compared and analysed… The co-ordination will also help identify those who helped Sunil Joshi and the others in carrying out the attacks," said a top official.

An NIA officer said they are trying to identify the person who helped Joshi in Samjhauta Express. "We are showing the photographs of all the persons who died in the Samjhauta blasts to Aseemanand. It is suspected that the bomber may have died during the blasts. This will also help us to narrow down on the suspects." The agency is also planning to question Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Dayanand Pandey. In another development, the NIA has asked Indresh Kumar to furnish the details of his passport and bank accounts.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 February 2011 on page no. 11

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