news Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 05:30
  The Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Rohini Salian, has told The Indian Express that since the new government came to power she has been under pressure from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to go "soft" on the accused Hindu extremists in the case. "Last year I got a call from one of the officers of the NIA, asking to come over to speak to me. He didn’t want to talk over the phone. He came and said there is a message that I should go soft. I told him I will always support the cause of justice," she told the newspaper in an interview. On June 12 this year, the same NIA officer told her that there were "instructions from higher-ups" to not let her handle the case and that another advocate would appear instead of her. "I said very good — I was expecting this, was waiting for this, good you told me up front, please settle my bills. You brought the notification, I didn’t ask, I did it all free. Now get me denotified so that I can appear against NIA in future in other matters," she said adding that her name has not yet been removed from the notification appointing her as SPP for the Maharashtra government. 68-year-old Salian however refused to name the officer stating that he is a senior officer and is "just the messenger". When asked how has the case progressed so far she said two months ago the Supreme Court decided that the case should be tried in a special court with a special judge. "So back to square one — very haphazard orde," she said. Four people were killed and 79 other injured in the September 29, 2008, blast in Malegaon in the Nashik district in Maharashtra.