The National Investigating Agency has a tough task ahead as it continues its investigation of the Samjautha blasts which left nearly 60 persons dead. Like the rest of the agencies which are not investigating, but reinvestigating the various cases such as Malegaon, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid, the Samjautha blasts case too falls under the same bracket.
The biggest problem that the NIA faces today is that two very crucial persons alleged to be related to this case are dead. The name of Sunil Joshi has been doing the rounds for quite some time and does find a mention on several occasions in the Swami Aseemanand confession. The other name that has now cropped up is that of Ramprasad Kalouta from Madhya Pradesh.
Two days back the NIA had visited a village called Giroda in Madhya Pradesh to find out more about the death of Kalouta. Earlier his death which had been dismissed as a suicide has now taken another turn with investigators believing that it could have been a case of murder.
Investigations so far have led to the fact that both Kalouta and Joshi were linked. It is said that Kalouta had helped Joshi undertake the Samjautha blasts of 2007. They are also trying to find out whether Kalouta had helped Joshi with the other blasts which have been mentioned in the Swami Aseemanand confession. Sources say that at first it was made out that Kalouta had committed suicide as he was involved in a financial dispute and a case to this effect was on. However further investigations showed that he had been murdered and his body thrown near a railway track.
The name of Kalouta first cropped up during the time of the failed Nanded operation. There was a major swoop down at that point of time and the police had managed to pick up four persons in connection with that blast. The perpetrators of this operation were worried at that point of time and even wanted to disguise the entire operation. From the area of operation the police had also managed to seize fake beards and white caps which was an indication that these persons wanted to disguise the entire operation.
However at this point of time following police action, Kalouta who was believed to have been with the rest of the accused such as Himanshu ( who died assembling the bomb) Manoharrao Pande and Bhanurao Vithalrao Choudhary managed to flee and gain entry into Madhya Pradesh. The investigators now believe that he could have been killed by his own clan since they did not want him spilling the beans. Moreover he was close to Joshi who knew too much about the operation and they did not want the trail leading to him. However sources pointed out that these are preliminary findings and they would looking at the case from this perspective as well.
However the task for the NIA does not appear to be one bit easy. The death of the prime accused Joshi is a major stumbling block and they will have to work their way around this. Kalouta too falls under the same league and the NIA would first try and ascertain as to who killed him.
In addition to this there are also other problems such as the destruction of evidence. A big part of the evidence was the mobile phone belonging to Joshi which is believed to have had details of the Samjautha blasts. However on investigation they have stumbled upon another mobile phone which has absolutely no details and they believe that it has been replaced. However this has not happened recently but was done immediately after his murder. The investigators believe that the reason for Joshi’s murder is also very similar to that of Kalouta. When the NIA landed at the house Joshi they drew a blank since all articles that belonged to him had been moved and destroyed. The diaries were missing, a revolver belonging to him could not be found and more importantly his mobile phone had been inter-changed.
Over the days the NIA would meet more often with the Madhya Pradesh police and the latter will have a lot of explaining to do. They would try digging out details as to why the police had not pursued the case relating to the mobile phone any further. It as said that it was the MP police which retrieved the mobile and had not pursued it any further despite knowing fully well that it had been inter-changed. In addition to this they would also want to see whether the murders of both Joshi and Kalouta have any connection since as of now that is what the belief among the investigators is. The NIA feels that a lot of evidence surrounding the murder of Joshi has surprisingly appeared and disappeared and they would want a detailed explanation from the Madhya Pradesh police.
Another aspect that is being investigated is why the case of the pipe bombs never came to light. It was clear that Joshi and his men had been assembling bombs to carry out a blast but the case was never investigated thoroughly. However the NIA will now investigate and interrogate a businessman by the name Rajesh Mishra who is alleged to have supplied the raw material for the preparation of these pipe bombs. This will be a crucial part of the investigation since the pipe bombs that were being prepared in Bhopal are very similar to the one that was used in the Mecca Masjid blasts.
The Madhya Pradesh police which has come under the scanner following the NIA’s re-probe however says that they will cooperate. Sanjay Rana the Inspector General of Police, Indore Range under which jurisdiction this case falls says that they will extend any help required and they have already began summoning documents pertaining to the death of Kalouta.
The NIA says that although Aseemanand makes mentions about the Samjautha blasts in his confession statement, it is still a long way to go since there are too many dots to be joined. They will have to look at all the cases (Nanded, Jalna, Parbhani, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer and Malegaon) together since they are inter-linked and only then can a clear picture emerge.