Hindu extremists planned to target Justice Sachar

FP

Alleged Samjhauta Express train bomber Rajendra Choudhary has claimed that Hindu right-wing extremists planned to target former Delhi high court chief justice Rajinder Sachar in October 2006.

The committee headed by Justice Sachar was to submit its report on the socio-economic conditions of Muslims before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2006 and the terror group, headed by slain RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi, was angry over the setting up of the panel.

The NIA is learnt to have informed the Delhi Police to step up Justice Sachar's security following Choudhary's "revelations". Justice Sachar, however, told The Sunday Express that he was yet to be provided any security. He also said that during the compilation of his report, he had travelled to various states and these had offered him security. "But I refused."

According to sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Choudhary revealed during interrogation that they had had carried out a recce in New Delhi for an attack on Justice Sachar in early 2006. However, the plan was reportedly dropped due to heightened security in New Delhi and as other members of the group such as Ramji Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, wanted in connection with the Samjhauta and Malegaon blasts, pointed out that the Sachar panel had six more members.

"They did not have enough manpower to coordinate attacks on all seven members," a senior official said. Having executed the Malegaon blasts in September 2006 that year, they were also on the run.

"Joshi is learnt to have directed Choudhary and (alleged Mecca Masjid bomber) Lokesh Sharma to keep a low profile. Choudhary also revealed that after the accidental explosion in Nanded in 2006 at the house of an RSS activist, the group had come under the scanner of central agencies," the official added.

The same group of extremists are alleged to have been also behind the attack on Delhi University professor S A R Geelani in Delhi's Vasant Vihar in February 2005. Geelani was an accused in the 2001 Parliament attack but had been acquitted. A team of Delhi Police has questioned Choudhary in connection with the attack on Geelani.

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