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Thursday, July 16, 2015
Muslims accused in Malegaon blast innocent, it’s over to HC now: NIA DG Sharad Kumar
Muslims accused in Malegaon blast innocent, it's over to HC now: NIA DG Sharad Kumar
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is in the news for all the wrong reasons lately for allegedly going soft against accused in right-wing terror cases after NDA came to power. In an interview to Aman Sharma, NIA DG Sharad Kumar says it is a wrong allegation and the case trials have in fact caught speed:
Is there pressure on the NIA to brush aside or go slow in right-wing terror cases after NDA came to power?
We have not brushed aside any cases. That is a wrong allegation. We are doing our best. Trial is going on and in a lot of cases, trial is going on well and at a fast pace. Nearly 180 witnesses have been examined in the Samjhauta case. In the past one year, over 130 witnesses have been examined. It is a very good speed. In Ajmer case, we have examined almost 80 witnesses during the last one year. In Mecca Masjid case, 50 witnesses have been examined…we are awaiting a new judge to be notified.So allegation of going slow is not right. Rather we expect that in a year or so, the Samjhuata judgment should come.
But many of your witnesses are turning hostile, in Ajmer Blasts case as well as Samjahuta case?
This is not in NIA's hands. When a witness is summoned, it is between the prosecutor and court. NIA has no role in it. We don't tutor the witnesses. We just serve the summons and ensure the person comes. But we are now examining if our cases have been impacted by some of the witnesses going hostile. If few witnesses out of 180 witnesses turn hostile (in the Samjhauta case), you cannot say that the case is over.
Rohini Salian, your Special Public Prosecutor, alleged NIA refused ..file for discharge of wrongly arrested Muslim youth in the 2006 Malegaon case despite charging right-wing persons in the case?
you can go to CRPC, it says that I am supposed to file a charge-sheet. I am not the one to ask for discharge – that is for the court to look into, whether to discharge or not. The court is still looking at 3 chargesheets, one by ATS, one by CBI – in which Muslims were accused for the crime. When we investigated, we found these people are innocent. So there are new set of accused in charge-sheet filed by NIA. Now it is for the court to decide whom to frame the charges against.
If you are not brushing aside any right-wing cases, why have you closed the Modasa Blast case?
Modasa case was investigated for the last 5 years and there was absolutely no progress. So if we are not getting any clue in the case, we cannot keep the case with us indefinitely. We have said if we get some lead, we can always go to court and reopen the case. It's not as if the case is absolutely dead and we do not pursue it. Court has applied its mind, called the complainant heard him and then has accepted the closure.
Why has Salian alleged an NIA officer on orders from the top asked her to go soft on right-wing cases?
She had come to know that she was being denotified by NIA, maybe this is why she went to the press. Not a single NIA officer, as she says, approached her to go soft on the cases. We have held a detailed inquiry and the allegation is absolutely wrong. Let her name the officer and come out with evidence.