Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and seven others were acquitted in the 2007 RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi murder case yesterday by a Madhya Pradesh court, which held that the state police and NIA conducted the probe with "prejudice" and produced "weak and self-contradictory evidences".
"The contradictory evidences by police and NIA in the case raised serious doubts in the whole case," the First Additional District and Sessions Judge of Dewas Rajiv Madhusudan Apte said while acquitting Thakur, Harshad Solanki, Vasudev Parmar, Ramcharan Patel, Anandraj Kataria, Lokesh Sharma, Rajendra Choudhary and Jitendra Sharma.
Joshi, once a close aide of the Sadhvi before they fell out over some dispute, was shot dead at Indore on December 29, 2007 in Audyogik Police station area.
Thakur, also an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, is in judicial custody. She was not present in the court when the verdict was pronounced as she is undergoing treatment in Bhopal. Solanki, Lokesh Sharma and Choudhary too were not present in court.
"My clients were absolved due to the contradictory evidences of Industrial Area Police, Dewas, and the NIA, which were not found trustworthy by the court. This has been observed by the court in para 124 of the operating order,""defence lawyer Raghuveer Yardi said.
Initially, the probe had hit a dead-end, but later the arrest of a person in Rajasthan led the district police to Thakur and other accused.