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The Malegaon U-turn: Purohit remains ‘key’ accused but evidence weakened without MCOCA

Purohit has been maintaining that he attended the meetings as part of intelligence gathering as military intelligence officer and that he had reported details of his infiltration into the group to his seniors in the Army.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai | Published: May 14, 2016 3:40 am
prasad purohit, malgaon blasts, malegaon blast convicts, malegaon blast arrest, prasad purohit malegaon blast, army officer malegaon blast, india news The NIA also refers to a meeting at Faridabad on January 25-26, 2008, where Purohit allegedly proposed a separate Constitution for a Hindu Rashtra and discussed other ideas pertaining to it.

THE NIA chargesheet continues to refer to Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit as ‘one of the key members of the criminal conspiracy’. The ATS chargesheet had claimed that Purohit had floated the organisation Abhinav Bharat in 2006, and collected funds for it.

The NIA, in its chargesheet, continues to refer to the funds, claiming he collected them for himself and for his organisation. “Out of which Rs 2.5 lakhs were paid to one builder in Nashik through accused Ajay Rahirkar for booking a house for himself,” the chargesheet claims. It states that of the data retrieved from the laptop of accused Sudhakar Dwivedi, voice samples of Purohit and two other accused are ‘positive’ as per the FSL report.

“The authorised intercepted conversation between this accused and accused Ramesh Upadhyay and others reveals that they were also in the process of creating their defence in the case. This accused even suggested Upadhyay to procure another SIM card for himself. He even alerted Upadhyay by saying that they should be very meticulous thereafter. The post conduct of the accused persons shows the guilt in their minds and their active participation in the crime,” the chargesheet states on Purohit’s role.

The NIA claims that after the arrest of Pragya Singh Thakur, Purohit allegedly sent a SMS to accused Sameer Kulkarni, stating the ATS had entered his house at Pune. He directed Kulkarni to delete his numbers and to leave Bhopal immediately. “This act of the accused Prasad Purohit confirms his complicity in the present crime,” the NIA states.

The NIA also refers to a meeting at Faridabad on January 25-26, 2008, where Purohit allegedly proposed a separate Constitution for a Hindu Rashtra and discussed other ideas pertaining to it. Purohit has been maintaining that he attended the meetings as part of intelligence gathering as military intelligence officer and that he had reported details of his infiltration into the group to his seniors in the Army.

However, with MCOCA being revoked against the accused, confessional statements against Purohit have become inadmissible. For instance, a confessional statement of accused Rakesh Dhawde on the procurement of RDX by Purohit and that of Praveen Takkalki claiming that it was Purohit who directed Dhawde to ‘impart training of making of the fuse of the bomb’ can’t be relied upon as proof.

Also, a witness re-examined by the NIA has alleged that he was threatened by the ATS to state that he had seen RDX in Purohit’s house, that Purohit had told him he supplied RDX for the Samjhauta Express blast and that he (Purohit) was planning the Malegaon blast. In 2009, this witness had approached the state human rights panel, claiming he was forced to give the confessional statement as dictated by the ATS, Mumbai.

 

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