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Sadhvi's charges will be probed, NSA to Advani

A Correspondent in Delhi | November 21, 2008 17:55 IST
Last Updated: November 22, 2008 00:08 IST

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National Security Adviser M K Narayanan on Friday assured Bhartiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani [Images] that the Centre had no role in the arrest of Sadhvi Pragya [Images] Thakur and others in the Malegaon bombing case.
All the same he told Advani that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] has ordered an investigation into her allegation of torture in an affidavit before the Nashik court as sought by him during their telephonic conversation two days ago.
Advani, who alone met Narayanan and Intelligence Bureau chief P C Haldar at his Prithviraj Road residence for 40 minutes, reportedly told them that his concern was limited to the alleged barbaric treatment meted out to Pragya and that he and his party had no problem with further investigations into the case to reach to the logical conclusions.
In a message to him earlier in the day while confirming the appointment, the NSA had reportedly urged Advani that nobody else from his party should be present for the sake of secrecy in view of the sensitivity of the case, particularly because the ongoing probe could be adversely affected if any details were leaked.
Later while speaking at the Hindustan Times Summit 2008, Advani confirmed that he was fully briefed about the case by the NSA and was assured that Pragya's affidavit will be fully examined as sought by him on Wednesday when the prime minister rang him up to understand his concern.
Advani dispelled the impression that his party was in any way opposed to the investigations as the prime concern should be a proper probe, fair trial and bringing the culprits to justice.
Narayanan is believed to have shown to Advani all the evidences that Maharashtra's Anti-Terror Squad has so far collected in the course of its investigations into the September 29 blast in Malegaon that left six dead.
BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who later met Advani to get a briefing on his meeting with the NSA, said, "Advani heard them patiently and reiterated his demand made to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a judicial inquiry into Pragya Singh's charges that the ATS tortured her in custody."
"Advani told the NSA and the IBdirector that his reaction to the Pragya Singh episode was confined to her allegations in the affidavit that she was subjected to physical and mental agony and he has nothing to say on the ATS investigations," Rudy added.

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