The Congress today mounted a blistering attack on the Modi government over the NIA decision to drop all charges against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and five others in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, alleging it was trying to save people belonging to RSS involved in terror activities.
The allegation by the Congress was rejected by the Government with Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju saying it does not interfere in the investigation by the agencies while the BJP said Pragya was "framed" by the UPA government.
Leading the Congress charge, senior party leader Digvijay Singh also accused the NDA government of pressuring officers of National Investigating Agency (NIA) to save certain people involved in the blasts that killed seven people in the twin blasts in Malegaon in Maharashtra. "Was the DG of NIA given extension for this?" he asked.
"I will like to tell the central government that we know that you want to save them (activists of Hindu right-wing groups). We know that your relations are with all these people involved in terrorism-related activities," Singh said.
"This is my accusation on Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and the Union Cabinet who are trying to save the people belonging to Sangh involved in terror activities by putting pressure on police officers and the NIA," he said, adding, "As I had predicted BJP and RSS have started the process of saving the Sangh activists involved in terror cases."
Singh also said it was deplorable that an honest and sincere officer like Hemant Karkare, who put his life in danger and fought against terrorists, is being accused of fabricating evidences.
Defending the NIA decision, Rijiju said justice should prevail and there was no interference on the probe agency.
"Justice should prevail. There should be no interference in handling such cases. Our government has allowed agencies to work independently," he told reporters.
"UPA has pressurised agencies in their time. For their own benefits they have given another term to terrorism as Hindu terrorism," he claimed.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the charge of Congress party that the government is trying to influence the NIA is completely baseless. "NIA is doing its job independently," he said.
BJP welcomed the NIA decision and suggested a probe against those involved in building the case against Sadhvi Pragya in the UPA government, saying she was "framed".
In an apparent attack on the UPA dispensation, BJP said there was conspiracy over Malegaon and Samjhauta express blasts cases, in which Hindutva groups were prosecuted by investigation agencies, and some politicians worked against the country's interests.
"I was of the opinion from day one that Pragya Thakur and others have just been framed in these cases. All the atrocity a person like Pragya Thakur has undergone, I think had there been any other liberal, law abiding country there would have been a counter investigation against people involved in it," BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told reporters.
RSS functionary Indresh Kumar alleged that the UPA government had a conspiracy to target Hindutva groups over the blasts.
At the AICC briefing, Congress spokesman Gaurav Gogoi remarked "Malegaon case shows that NIA has become 'NAMO Investigation Agency' to exonerate those having allegiance to BJP by hook or crook".
Gogoi made a strong pitch for a Supreme Court-monitored probe in the Malegaon blast case.
Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala also attacked the government over the issue.
"Collective conscience of Nation is shocked by politically partisan misuse of NIA in giving clean chit to Pragya in Malegaon Blast Case", he said on Twitter.
He said the BJP government has "insulted" the integrity of martyr, Hemant Karkare who investigated Malegaon Blast as also sacrificed his life fighting terrorism
Ridiculing the Congress for its criticism of Government over the NIA decision, Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Congress was then "engaged in some sort of green versus saffron terrorism".
"Even some Muslim friends were named as terrorists and sent to jail during the Congress regime then. They were also released. At that time there was some sort of competition that the Congress was engaged in---like one side green terrorism, the other side saffron terrorism," he said.