Mumbai: Having been named as an accused and later exonerated and again arraigned as an accused, the future of Pragyasingh Thakur, alias Sadhvi Pragya, is bleak. She has made several attempts to garner sympathy by citing her ‘deteriorating’ health and showcasing herself as a ‘victim’. A special court on Tuesday charged her in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, which is much against her expectations.
Special Judge V S Padalkar has charged Sadhvi for murder, spreading terror, recruiting people for terrorist act, inciting enmity between two communities etc. This has come as a setback for Sadhvi, who was expecting a clean chit, even from the court, just as the National Investigation Agency had exonerated her in May 2016.
The NIA, in its chargesheet, had claimed it has ‘no incriminating material on record to prosecute’ Sadhvi. In fact, the NIA accused the initial probe agency, the Anti-Terrorism Squad, for having falsely implicated Sadhvi, in the case. Despite the ‘change of circumstances,’ as projected by the NIA, the special court refused to accept the stand and instead relied upon the chargesheet filed by ATS against Sadhvi.
The court has clearly said it cannot ignore the fact that the motorcycle, which was allegedly used in the blasts, was registered in the name of Sadhvi. “The court has relied upon the ATS case as far as the motorcycle is concerned. It has framed charges against Sadhvi as per the earlier chargesheet which states that the motorcycle was registered in her name,” special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal said.
Now, the future of Sadhvi will solely depend on the testimony of the witnesses cited by the ATS in its chargesheet and also the investigating officers of the anti-terror agency. “Since the charges as framed as per the ATS case, the court will now summon witnesses cited in that chargesheet. It (her future) will depend on the evidence that will be brought before the court through these witnesses,” Rasal added. It would not be out of place to mention that some prime witnesses in the case had retracted from their statements, recorded by the ATS, before the NIA.