Mecca Masjid case: 2 accused dead, 2 suspects missing
Mecca Masjid case: 2 accused dead, 2 suspects missingP Naveen | TNN | Updated: Apr 17, 2018, 04:09 IST
- Investigators believe these four people from the Malwa region of MP formed a crucial link in multiple terror cases, including the Mecca Masjid blasts.
- Since suspects and witnesses vanished or were killed, investigators had a tough job from the very beginning.
Investigators believe these four people from the Malwa region of MP formed a crucial link in multiple terror cases, including the Mecca Masjid blasts. Since suspects and witnesses vanished or were killed, investigators had a tough job from the very beginning.
Sandeep and Kalsangra have been declared absconders. Along with RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi, who was murdered, the duo was among the 10 accused in the Mecca Masjid case.
The NIA suspected that Joshi was a key organiser of the gang responsible for the Samjhauta Express, Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif blasts in 2006-07. Rajasthan ATSâs chargesheet in 2011 says Joshi got explosive s from Ramprasad Kaloda, who, like Joshi, was allegedly an aide of Aseemanand.
Joshi was shot dead on December 29, 2007 near his house in Dewas. There were contradictory findings in the case, which was never solved.
Nor was Kalodaâs. Shriram Pawar, a witness in the Kaloda murder case, went missing. Kalodaâs body was found near railway tracks in Baloda Takoon village in Indore on June 24, 2008. Local police closed the file, naming three persons as his murderers and citing financial dispute as the motive. Soon after the chargesheet, prime witness Pawar disappeared and the three suspects were released on bail. Pawarâs family had filed a missing personâs report at Depalpur police station on November 14, 2008, but no trace was ever found.
The Rajasthan ATS suspected that Joshi and Kaloda were killed by people in their own circle, but the investigation hit a stone wall. Before that, state police had named Pragya Singh Thakur, Harshad Solanki, Vasudev Parmar, Anan d Raj Kataria and Ramcharan Patel as accused, stating that Joshi was murdered over âpersonal enmityâ.
The NIA probed if Joshiâs murder was part of a larger conspiracy by fringe right wing groups. This followed Aseemanandâs alleged âconfessionâ that Joshi had masterminded the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif blasts. NIA officials arrested four suspects in Joshiâs murder â" Lokesh Sharma, Rajendra Pehalwan, Jitender Sharma and Dilip Jagtap, all residents of Malwa.
A breakthrough came only after the arrest of Lokesh, a BJP youth wing leader, from Mhow. Sharma allegedly told interrogators Joshi was threatening to spill the beans on their activities and had even planned to surrender. On February 1, 2017, a Dewas court acquitted eight people, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, in the Joshi murder case, saying that the prosecution was unable to prove their guilt.
Now, the NIA special court in Hyderabad has acquitted all the accused, inclu ding Aseemanand, in the Mecca Masjid blasts case. Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalsangra are still on the NIAâs âmost wantedâ list and carry a bounty of Rs 10 lakh each.
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