Pragya appears in NIA court, says didn’t know about Malegaon blast

MUMBAI, June 7: BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur Friday appeared before a special court here in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blast case, after failing twice this week to do so.
When Special NIA Judge V S Padalkar asked the saffron-clad Thakur if she has to say anything about the blast, she said, “I don’t know.”
Supported by two aides while entering the court, Thakur appeared before the special NIA Judge as per the direction of the court which is conducting trial in the 11-year-old case.
Besides her, other accused in the case also attended the court.
The judge read out his order to the accused where he directed them to be present in the court at least once a week.
He said the court has till now examined 116 witnesses, including doctors and ‘panchas’ (a category of witnesses).
During most of the hearings in the past, the accused were represented in the court by their advocates.
After reading out his order, the judge called Thakur and another accused Sudhakar Dwivedi to the witness box.
Citing statements of witnesses, the judge asked them whether they were aware that a bomb blast had taken place at Malegaon in North Maharashtra in September 2008 where six people were killed.
To this, Thakur replied, “Mujhe jankari nahi hai (I have no information about it).”
Dwivedi gave a similar answer.
When asked about the proceeding in the case, the 49-year-old MP said she was not aware about the number of witnesses examined by the court.
A red velvet cloth was put on the bench, where the accused sit, for Thakur to sit comfortably. When the judge called her to the witness box to stand till the order is passed she said she will stand leaning by the window instead of sitting in the chair given by the court.
This was Thakur’s first appearance before the court after being elected to the Lok Sabha from Bhopal last month. The last time was during the framing of charges in the case in October last year.
Judge Padalkar had last month directed all the accused, including Thakur, to appear before the court at least once a week.
The judge then had said an exemption from appearance would be granted only if cogent reasons were submitted.
The court is currently recording the testimony of witnesses in the case.
Seven persons, including Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, are facing trial in the case. (PTI)