Was Co­erced to Frame Asee­m­anand: Bhadana of Ab­hi­nav Bharat

Records state­ment be­fore a mag­is­trate that’s ad­mis­si­ble be­fore court

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: A key wit­ness in cases in­volv­ing ‘right-wing ex­trem­ists’ has al­leged that he was ‘co­erced’ to give a state­ment fram­ing peo­ple, in­clud­ing Swami Asee­m­anand, in the Samjhauta Ex­press blast case.

The man iden­ti­fied as Yash­pal Bhadana, a mem­ber of Ab­hi­nav Bharat, recorded his state­ment be­fore a mag­is­trate un­der Sec­tion 164 CrPC in con­nec­tion with the 2008 Male­gaon case be­ing probed by the Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA). A state­ment recorded be­fore a mag­is­trate is ad­mis­si­ble be­fore court un­like a con­fes­sion be­fore a po­lice of­fi­cer.

Bhadana’s tes­ti­mony was recorded at the in­stance of NIA and may change the course of in­ves­ti­ga­tion in a clutch of cases, par­tic­u­larly the 2008 Male g aon blasts where Lt Colonel Srikant Prasad Puro­hit and Pragya Singh Thakur were ar­rested. Ac­cord­ing to gover nment sources, Bhadana not only re­tracted his ear­lier state­ment­given­toNIAbu­tal­so­saidthat he was not present at the April 2008 meeting­inBhopal­where‘Bom­bka Badla bomb’ the­ory was pro­pounded by Swami Asee­m­anand. When reached for a com­ment, an NIA spokesper­son told ET: “The mat­ter is be­fore the court and it will not be cor­rect to make any com­ment.”

NIA, which started the probe into 2006 Male­gaon, 2007 Samjhauta Ex­press, Ajmer blasts, Mecca Masjid blasts and 2008 Male­gaon blast has ear­lier cited Asee­m­anand con­fes­sion un­der Sec­tion 164 of CrPC to al­lege that the right-wing groups were in­volved in all blasts.

Asee­m­anand later re­tracted his state­ment and was also granted bail by the Pun­jab and Haryana

Bhadana’s tes­ti­mony recorded at in­stance of NIA & may change course of in­ves­ti­ga­tion

high court. Head of RSS af­fil­i­ated Van­vasi Kalyan Ashram, he was ar­rested by the CBI in Novem­ber 2010 and charge-sheeted by NIA in Samjhauta blast case at present un­der trail at a Panchkula court. Nin­teen wit­nesses have turned hos­tile in the case.

Bhadana, a na­tive of Haryana, had ear­lier told NIA that he was present at the meet­ing held at Hari Par­vat, Farid­abad, in Jan­uary, 2008, which was at­tended by Colonel Puro­hit and Swami Dayanand Pandey, both ac­cused in 2008 Male­gaon blast. He had also said at the meet con­sti­tu­tion of Ab­hi­nav Bharat and prob­lems faced by Kash­miri Pan­dits in J&K too were dis­cussed. The role of NIA in the cases had come un­der the scan­ner af­ter spe­cial pub­lic prose­cu­tor Ro­hini Salian al­leged that she was asked to go ‘soft’ on the Male­gaon blast case when the NDA govern­ment came to power. NIA had re­futed the al­le­ga­tions.

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