Sunil Joshi murder: A case of twists, turns and unanswered questions
Bhopal: On Saturday, a
Dewas court framed charges against eight accused, including Sadhvi Pragya
Singh, and indicated that the trial could begin after September 28. This is
almost eight years since the crime.
When former RSS functionary
Sunil Joshi was shot dead in Dewas on December 29, 2007, the town was on the
edge with Hindu organizations giving a bandh call in protest.
Later, all the agencies
from different states which were involved directly or indirectly, in the
subsequent probe into the mysterious murder concluded that it was an inside
From the anti-terrorist
squads in Maharashtra and Rajasthan to the National Investigation Agency (NIA)
to the Madhya Pradesh Police, the investigators were certain about the links of
the alleged killers but not their motive.
This murder case was
considered very important because Joshi was believed to be the prime mover in
some cases of alleged Hindu terror but the case has progressed at a very slow
On Saturday, a Dewas
court framed charges against eight accused, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh, and
indicated that the trial could begin after September 28. This is almost eight
years since the crime.
Progress in the case
depends less on the actual investigation and more on the political party in
power in these states or at the Centre and which agency probed it at which
point in time. When the investigators were answerable to the Congress at the
Centre, in Maharashtra and in Rajasthan, the BJP accused it of manipulating the
probe. When the BJP came to power at the Centre and in MP, the Congress accused
of it going slow in a bid to hush up the case.
The line pursued by the
NIA itself changed after the change of guard at the Centre. When the UPA was in
power, the agency said the case was part of a larger Hindu terror conspiracy
and suggested that Joshi was killed because he would have spilled the beans.
After the NDA assumed
power in May 2014, the central agency filed a closure report saying Joshi was
murdered because he made licentious advances towards the Sadhvi and the case
was eventually transferred to the Dewas court where the MP police had already
filed a charge sheet.
Initially, the MP
police under the BJP were set to close the probe till the Rajasthan police
under the Congress made the first arrest. Now there are two sets of accused,
different sets of killers, one charge sheet, one supplementary charge sheet and
a lot of unanswered questions.