The National Investigation Agency claims that it is getting closer to cracking the Samjautha Express blasts case. The latest arrest of Ram Lakhan Maharaj who also goes by the alias Dhan Singh is yet another breakthrough for the NIA which will help it inch close towards closing the case. Dhan Singh who according to the NIA is a key conspirator in the Samjautha blasts case was working as a priest at a temple. He was a close friend of Sunil Joshi and also the suspected bomber who planted the explosives on the bike at Malegaon.
Last week the agency had picked up Rajendra Chowdhary in connection with the same case and would be questioning him in connection with the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer case as well. However with Dhan Singh they would look further into the connectivity of the modules which carried out the above mentioned blasts and also the Malegaon attack. However the bigger breakthrough that they would be looking to attain is in the murder of Sunil Joshi as both were said to be very close friends.
Dhan Singh was first picked up the Satna police and handed over to the NIA. Singh hails from Hatod in Indore and was said to have been working as a priest in one of the temples over there. Singh does not find a prominent mention in the suppmentary chargesheet filed by the NIA. He is just named as of the conspirators in the Samjautha Blasts case. The NIA had left his connection to both Sunil Joshi and the Malegaon case open ended and had said that further probing would be required.
A link between the modules: The investigating agencies had always maintained the Ajmer, Mecca Masjid and Samjautha Express blasts case was carried out by one module which it was another team which executed the Malegaon blasts. NIA sources however say that while two different teams had executed these blasts, the masterminds remained the same. They had split the group into two for logistic purposes.
Dhan Singh would be able to provide that link closely to us and we would also probe him on his links with Sadhvi Pragya Singh who is an accused along with Colonel Purohith in the Malegaon case.
The NIA says that the murder of Sunil Joshi is another case that would be cracked soon with the arrest of Dhan Singh. Of all the accused in the terror rung whom we have arrested so far, Singh appears to be the one closest to Joshi. He would have details on Joshi’s activities and also what led to his murder. The NIA has been able to ascertain to a large extent that Joshi was murdered by his own accomplices. From the investigations so far they have found that Joshi had threatened to reveal the bigger names in the network which led to his murder. The NIA also believes that the two most important accused Ramji Kalasanghra and Sandeep Dange who are absconding had a role to play in all the blasts and also the murder of Joshi.
While these are aspects of the case which would be probed in the days to come, the NIA is more interested in completing the investigation in the Samjautha express blasts case. Chowdhary’s interrogation has led to more details on the case which speaks about the planning and the execution. Chowdhary was present in Delhi along with Dhan Singh, Kalsanghra and Dange to work out the logistics for the blasts. However Dhan Singh was not part of the team which travelled by that ill fated train and planted the bomb.
Dhan Singh the NIA says was a low key operative who was involved in the planning and logistic aspects of the attack. His most significant role was in the Samjautha case, but we also have leads to indicate that he was part of the Malegaon attack as well. Evidence would suggest that on the instructions of Sunil Joshi he had planted the bomb on the bike at Malegaon. He worked closely with Joshi on this case, the NIA says. In addition to this we would also probe and find out if Dhan Singh had taken part in the planning and execution of the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer blasts.
Both Chowdhary and Singh would be questioned together in the case and the further leads would be worked up, the NIA says.
The NIA says that Chowdhary’s investigation is going on at the moment and they would like to work as per the evidence that they have collected. There was some momentary joy for the NIA when Chowdhary blurted out in the Panchkula court a day back, “ yes I did it, I was angry.” However the accused immediately retracted his statement and his lawyer said that he was under duress which prompted him to make that statement. The NIA says that many accused have confessed before the courts and later withdrawn the statement, but the more important thing is that this time they have very strong evidence on hand.
The NIA says that the terror cycle is almost complete with this arrest. We would have in our custody Dange and Kalasanghra soon and the entire modus operandi would be made known. The other headache for the NIA is the Colonel Purohith angle to the case who had recently told the army court that he was an undercover agent trying to bust the right wing terror network. We will continue with our independent probe on the matter and the accused in our custody will spell out his role. We will try him as per our case on hand and the other confession before the army court will not have any bearing on our case, the NIA points out.