New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday said it was "unfortunate" that Rohini Salian, special public prosecutor in 2008 Malegaon blasts case, was pressurised by National Investigative Agency (NIA) to "go soft" in the case.s
"It's unfortunate. There should not be any discrimination between two types of terrorism and it should be dealt with firmly," Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed told IANS.
Media reports had quoted Salian saying that ever since the NDA government took over at Centre, there was pressure on her to go soft in the Malegaon blasts case of 2008.
The Congress leader said that the allegation puts a serious question mark on the central government's intention to fight terror.
"This puts a big question mark on government's intention to firmly deal with terrorism, and it also lowers prestige of an agency like NIA," he said.
The 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts involved some Hindu fundamentalists, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.
"An NIA officer called last year and asked to meet me. He wanted me to go soft on the accused in the case," Salian told media persons earlier in the day in Mumbai.
The 68-year-old criminal law expert said she suspected that the officer -- whom she declined to identify -- was apparently acting under instructions from the NIA's higher officials.
"The same officer met me again on June 12 and conveyed orally that I would be replaced by some other lawyer in this case. I asked him to settle my bill and denotify me as the prosecutor in the case. Till date, however, no notification has been issued replacing me with some other lawyer nor have my bills been settled," said Salian, who commands a lengthy experience as a police prosecutor.