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Sadhvi Pragyasingh arrested in Sunil Joshi murder case

Vinaya Deshpande

MUMBAI: Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur, a prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, was “formally arrested” by the Madhya Pradesh police at a hospital here on Friday in connection with the murder of Sunil Joshi, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist and an accused in the Ajmer Sharif and Mecca Masjid blasts.

Joshi, also a suspect in the Samjhauta Express blast case, was shot dead at Devas in Madhya Pradesh on December 29, 2007. Sadhvi Pragyasingh has already been arrested in the Malegaon case and is undergoing treatment at Sir J.J. Hospital.

“The Devas police approached the Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act Court here with an application for arresting Sadhvi. The court granted them permission to arrest her at J.J. Hospital,” Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian told The Hindu on Saturday.

Counsel for the Sadhvi, Ganesh Sovani, termed it a “paper arrest.” “No physical custody has been sought. It is a technical arrest.”

Asked whether she could be taken to Devas, Mr. Sovani said that first doctors would have to certify that she was fit for travel. “At the time of filing of charge sheet, she can be taken to Devas.”

Informed sources said that even Swami Aseemanand, in his confession, named Sunil Joshi as being involved in the Ajmer and Mecca Majid blasts.

The Samjhauta Express blast took place in February 2007, the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad in May 2007 and the Ajmer Sharif blast in October 2007.

The sources confirmed that the Sadhvi was interrogated by the Devas police here on February 16, 17 and 18 in the Sunil Joshi murder case. “Even the Central Bureau of Investigation interrogated her during the same period about the Mecca Masjid blast,” an official source told The Hindu.

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