Radical Hindu activist Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur will now be lodged in Bhopal Central Jail till the completion of the trial of the former RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi murder case in which she and four others are arrayed as accused by the National Investigating Agency (NIA).
Additional District Judge V K Pandey sent Pragya and her accomplice Harshad Solanki to the central jail after both the accused were produced before the specially designated court on Tuesday to stand trial for the alleged murder of Sunil Joshi in Dewas in December 2007. The Judge observed that they would stay in the local jail for the speedy trial. However, the court said the two are free to attend any court hearing outside Madhya Pradesh on production warrants issued by the competent authority.
The duo would appear in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Wednesday when the court is likely to frame the charges against the accused.
The court allowed the application of Pragya seeking medical attention by issuing directive to Bhopal Central Jail Superintendent. ADJ Pandey asked the superintendent to ensure that she was treated according to the jail manual after Pragya said the allopathic medicine doesn’t suit her and she preferred ayurveda treatment.
Also, the court agreed that any one of the attendants-her relative Bhawan Jha or her disciple Kalpana Singh be with her during treatment for a spinal cord ailment.
Pragya, who is also an accused in the Melagaon blast in Maharashtra, was brought to the NIA court from a Mumbai prison while Solanki – who too is accused in another act of terror-triggering off explosions in Samjuhata Express was produced before the ADJ.
After both Pragya and Harshad had failed to turn up during hearings in November 25 and December eight last year and on February 2, the court had directed the NIA to make sure that the duo is produced on March 13 or 14.
Both the accused, along with others, are being tried on the charge of killing Joshi in Dewas in December 2007.
However, the three other accused Vasudev Parmar, Anandraj Kataria and Ramcharan Patel, now out on bail, came to the court and registered their presence for the fourth successive time. These five accused have been charged under the Sections 302, 201, 120 b and 34 of the IPC and 25, 27 of the Arms Act. Mohan and Ghanshayam, two other accused in the Joshi murder case, are absconding.
A local court in Dewas district had transferred the case, including charge-sheet to the NIA court on November 22 following a Madhya Pradesh high court’s administrative order.
The NIA has taken over Joshi murder case from Madhya Pradesh police some months back. Earlier, the state was reluctant to NIA intervention in the case, but later it budged. The MP police had even once stopped investigations into the Joshi murder case, and it was only after some strong evidence unearthed by Rajasthan ATS that the mystery behind the murder was unraveled.
The NIA is already looking into Mecca Masjid, Ajmer, Malegaon and Samjhauta Express blast cases.
Joshi was bumped off by the accused because of his boastful character and the conspiracy to eliminate him was hatched by his friend-turn foe Pragya, according to the charge sheet filed in case by MP police in Dewas court on February 27 last year. Also, Joshi had once misbehaved with Pragya following which she was angry with him and decided to kill him, the document said.