A petition by two accused making shocking allegations was filed before the Ajmer and Bhopal courts. It alleged that the National Investigation Agency had allegedly tried to bribe the two to name three senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leaders in the murder of Sunil Joshi, an accused in the Samjhauta Express blasts case.
Former RSS activist Sunil Joshi, 45, was found murdered on December 29, 2007, at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh.
If the allegations are proven to be true it would put the premier investigating agency in very poor light. The other question is whether the NIA resorted to a bribe of Rs 1 crore in order to make their case stronger?
The petition filed by Mukesh Vasani and Raj Singh alleges that the NIA offered them Rs 1 crore in return of them naming three senior RSS functionaries in the Joshi murder case.
It is also stated that the NIA officials had questioned the two accused in the Ajmer jail between April 16 to April 19, during which this offer was allegedly made.
The duo was being questioned for their alleged role in the Ajmer blasts and it is stated that they had procured and planted the explosives at the dargah on October 11, 2007, killing three and injuring 17 others.
The petition also alleges that they were also told that charges against them would be withdrawn in case they named the three RSS leaders.
The NIA is, however, not taking these allegations seriously. "We will reply in court and we know that we have not resorted to any such tactics. At times during investigations, we do tell the accused persons to turn approvers by giving proper information about the case. However, the question of luring them with money does not arise," a source in the NIA said.
Investigating officials also pointed out that these are age old tricks used by the accused person and are normally diversionary tactics. It takes the focus off the case for sometime and there is delay which helps the accused to buy time.
"The NIA is on the verge of cracking the Joshi murder case and there are a couple of senior leaders in the RSS who are likely to be questioned. Hence this appears to be a ploy," the official added.
However, a source in the RSS said that this is nothing but a 'witch hunt' by the NIA and they want to show the organisation in poor light.
Ganesh Sovani, whose client, Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh, has also been questioned in connection with the Joshi murder case, said that the times have changed today.
"Earlier, the police resorted to physical torture to plant information on the accused. Today torture does not work as human rights lobbies are strong and so is the media. Hence monetary allurement is an untried mode possibly resorted to. However I am not amazed by such tactics," Sovani said.
Sovani added that to extract and rely upon a confession of an accused is no longer a safe option for investigating agencies as in most cases it has back fired once the accused retracts the statement.
"Moreover the investigating officer faces the wrath because more often than not these confessions also get printed in the media. Look at what happened with the CBI in the Swami Aseemanand case. The officer is facing criminal proceedings for leaking it to the media," he noted.
The Joshi murder case has taken many twists and turns over the years. Today Joshi has been blamed for masterminding nearly all the possible terror attacks in India.
At first it was said that he was murdered by activists of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India. However, the case went into the cold storage and was reopened when the NIA took over.
During the preliminary round of investigation the NIA is said to have found that he was murdered by his close aides. It was stated that he had too much information and was threatening to reveal it which eventually led to his murder.
The case has, however, not been on fast track and the NIA is trying to get more concrete evidence before it names the accused persons.