New Delhi:� 2008 Malegaon blasts case, �National Investigation Agency ( NIA ) on Friday accused the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of planting RDX traces to frame prime accused Lt Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, while it let off another prominent accused, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, and five others saying evidence against the firebrand Hindutva activist was not sufficient to justify prosecution.
NIA charge sheet says Purohit was instrumental in setting up Abhinav Bharat, a Hindu extremist group,it raises doubts about the traces of Rdx picked up from Chaturvedi's house in Devlali,Maharastra.
Chargesheet mentions the testimonials of two Army officers who claim ATS Assitant Police Inspector Bagade was caught planting Rdx in Chaturvedi'shouse,who also has been charged forn the conspiracy.
NIA officials said the two Army officers, who made this revelation to the Army Court of Inquiry were also examined by the agency. "They confirmed the same to us and this finds mention in the charge sheet since it calls into question the swab samples taken from the house that confirmed RDX traces," a senior NIA officer told Mail Today.
Refuting the theory that RDX stolen from the Army was used in the blasts, the NIA said the Army has given a breakup of about 70 kg of RDX.
The Army has accounted for it by way of controlled destruction or handing over to J&K Police, the NIA said.
However, the NIA believes there is strong material evidence to establish Purohit's role and this will not make things easy for him during the trial. "He will find it difficult to come out of it," an officer privy to the evidence said.
Cases of Hindu terror that were probed during the UPA government's tenure have stirred a debate with BJP accusing Congress of framing innocent and politicising terror.
According to the NIA charge sheet, phone intercepts between Purohit and Sudhakar Dhar Dwevedi reveal that the group was planning attacks against Muslims in Malegaon.
The claim is backed by forensic evidence confirming that the voices samples belong to Purohit and Dwivedi, who was Shankracharya of (head priest) of a high-profile Hindu religious establishment in Jammu & Kashmir.
While giving a clean chit to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and dropping all charges against her and five others in the Malegaon bomb blasts case, the NIA says Purohit had organised several meetings with the other accused and had collected money for procuring weapons and explosives for their unlawful activities.
The stringent MCOCA law has been dropped in the case but 10 accused, including Purohit are charged under terror law Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and other Sections of the Indian Penal Code.