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NIA not allowed to question Ajmer dargah blast suspect

Saturday September 24, 2011 02:05:38 AM, IANS

Jaipur: A court here Friday temporarily restrained the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from questioning Ajmer dargah blast suspect Bharat Rateshwar in the Jaipur Central Jail.

The accused's lawyer Jagdeesh Rana had approached the special court alleging that the agency was granted permission to interrogate Rateshwar without his lawyers being informed about it.

"NIA had moved an application before the court Sep 19 seeking permission for my client's interrogation in the jail. The court granted the permission when the defence lawyer was not present for argument," said the counsel.

The court then restricted NIA from the questioning and fixed Sep 27 as the next date of hearing, he added.

The lawyer alleged that NIA was forcing Rateshwar to turn approver against another key suspect Swami Aseemanand.

Rateshwar had been arrested from his native place of Valsad in Gujarat after he turned hostile and refused to remain a Rajasthan Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) witness. He had earlier recorded a statement before a court against some other blast suspects and even RSS leader Indresh Kumar.

The blast at the dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer on Oct 11, 2007 had claimed three lives and left 15 injured. The Rajasthan ATS has so far arrested Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Chandra Shekhar, Harshad Solanki and Mukesh Vasani from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in this connection.

The Rajasthan High Court recently released one of the accused, Chandra Shekhar, on bail.

NIA has been handed over the probe into various blasts allegedly carried out by right-wing Hindu organizations including the Malegaon and Samjhauta Express bombings.






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