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New Delhi, April 1, 2011
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said the credibility of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is more than that of Aseemanand, an accused in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case, and hoped that the agency would take the case trial to its logical end in a court of law.
Mr Chidambaram's remarks came in response to a question whether the NIA would be able to prove its case against Aseemanand after the latter did a volte face and told Ajmer's chief judicial magistrate that he had agreed to turn approver in the case under pressure from the investigating agencies, including the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the NIA.
"Please remember, Aseemanand is an accused in the case and the credibility of NIA is more than that of Aseemanand," said Mr Chidambaram at the release of the monthly report card of his ministry.
The swami had earlier sent a letter to the magistrate, expressing his desire to turn an approver in the case and stand witness for the prosecution.
The Rajasthan home department has agreed to hand over the probe in the blast to the NIA.
The Centre had sent a proposal to various state governments to hand over the probe into cases involving the right-wing terror organisations to the federal agency. The cases included terror attacks on the Ajmer Dargah, Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid and in Malegaon, Maharashtra.
The Centre's contention was that since the same radical outfits were involved in these attacks, they should be investigated by the NIA.
The Centre also proposed to hand over the investigations in the murder of slain Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Sunil Joshi - a key accused in the cases - to the NIA. Joshi was shot dead in Madhya Pradesh soon after the Ajmer blast.
The Ajmer blast case had been investigated by the Rajasthan ATS that had submitted a charge sheet against three accused last October and arrested Swami Aseemanand, among others.