Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian who is handling the case related to the Malegaon 2008 blasts, has claimed that since the Narendra Modi led NDA government came to power, she was asked to go “soft” on the accused in the case by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). In an interview with The Indian Express, Salian said that she was under pressure to do so, ever since “the new government came to power”. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On September 29, 2008, at least six people were killed and about 70 injured, during Ramzan in Malegoan, in which Hindu extremists were named as the accused. Salian said that soon after the NDA government came to power, she got a call from an NIA officer who asked to meet her, and did not want to talk over the phone. “He came and said to me that there is a message that I should go soft,” Salian told The Indian Express.According to Salian, on June 12, just before one of the regular hearings on the case in the Sessions Court, the same NIA officer informed her that “higher-ups” did not want her to appear in the court for the State of Maharashtra. He said that another advocate would attend the court proceedings. “The meaning (of the message from the government) is very clear — don’t get us favourable orders. Unfavourable orders are invited — that goes against the society,” Salian told The Indian Express. The 68 year-old leading prosecutor has handled cases like the JJ shootout, Borivili double murder, the Bharat Shah case and the Mulund blasts, amongst others. Salian now wants the NIA to officially denotify her from the case to which she was appointed in 2008, so that she is free to take up other cases, even “against the NIA, if need be”.According to Salian, the case has now gone back to square one. She said the Supreme Court has now decreed that the case should be tried in a special court with a specially appointed judge.Salian also said that it would be quite difficult for a fresh prosecutor to take the case forward. “Maybe they want to loosen it and ultimately lose the case because they can’t withdraw it,” she said.
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