Sadhvi Pragya was arrested for plotting Malgaon blasts by Maharashtra's Anti-Terror Squad in 2008
There is no evidence to prosecute Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for the 2008 Malegaon blasts that killed seven people, the National Investigating Agency has told a special court in Mumbai for the second time in a year. Nearly 100 people were also injured when the two bombs fitted on a motorcycle exploded on 29 September 2008 in Malegaon, around 270 km from Mumbai.
"We have not objected to her discharge plea and in the charge sheet we have already said that there is no prosecutable evidence against her," Avinash Rasal, the special NIA prosecutor said. The court is expected to hear her request to be set free this month-end.
Last June, the court had refused to accept the central probe agency's clean chit for the activist after an ex-prosecutor accused the NIA of shielding her. Sadhvi Pragya, army Colonel Srikant Purohit and others were arrested for plotting the blasts by Maharashtra's Anti-Terror Squad in 2008. She was alleged to be part of a Hindu extremist group, Abhinav Bharat and spent the next eight years in jail.
The NIA had taken over the probe on the Home Ministry's directive in 2011. The Congress-led Manmohan Singh government wanted a single agency to deal with all right-wing extremist cases to ensure that there were no gaps in the investigation.
But last year, the NIA said it could not find evidence good enough to put her on trial and dropped her name from the list of accused. Last month, the Mumbai high court ordered her release on bail. Sadhvi Pragya had file an application to end the case soon after.
Just over a week later, the NIA told the court on Friday that it did not have a problem if the Sadhvi's request was accepted.