Centre dismisses allegations of political interference' in Malegaon blast case

Rajnath Singh asserted that probe agencies in the country function with full-fledged autonomy'.

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday dismissed allegations of political "interference" in the Malegaon blast case investigation conducted by NIA, saying probe agencies in the country function with "full-fledged autonomy".

"All our investigation agencies have full-fledged autonomy...There is no interference from our side or from the government's side," he said while interacting with reporters on the sidelines of a Border Security Force event here.

National Investigation Agency (NIA) had last week, in a complete U-turn, dropped all charges against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and five others in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

Charges under the stringent MCOCA law were dropped against all the other 10 accused, including Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, as part of its charge sheet filed in a Mumbai court.

Asked about a possible time line by when NIA investigators could travel to Pakistan to conduct their probe in the Pathankot terror attack case, Singh said the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries have talked on the issue.

"That time Pakistan's response was positive...NIA also wants to go there and talks have taken place at the Foreign Secretary level," he said.

The Home Minister termed the outcome in the Assembly polls as a "spectacular" win for BJP.

"BJP got a spectacular win...It has a clear majority in Parliament. It also a party which has formed government in 14 states on the power of either its full-fledged majority or by way of coalition. A big geographical area has been covered by BJP," he said.

On Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's pitch for a "major surgery" in the organisation in the wake of the disappointing results in the Assembly polls, he said the issue is Congress' 'andar ki baat' (internal matter).

"This is their internal matter. I will not like to comment. How to rectify, what to rectify, it's Congress' decision," he said.

Singh said that the Cabinet will soon take a decision on the issue of allowing special risk allowance for troops of paramilitary forces serving in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas on par with what is given to those who serve in the counter- insurgency grid in the north east and counter-terrorism and anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

"The Pay Commission recommendations (on the issue) have come and the Cabinet will think about it," he said.

( Source : PTI )
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