Sources from the Pune-headquartered Southern Command of the Indian Army said that Lt Col Shrikant Purohit will join an Army unit after his release from jail but will not be given any active duty. The reinstatement will be with certain conditions, the details of which will be finalised after the Army headquarters studies the Supreme Court order on the conditional bail.
At the time of his arrest by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Purohit was working with the Southern Command Liaison Unit (SCLU) of Military Intelligence and undergoing a course in Arabic language at the Army Education Corps Training College and Centre at Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh. Before the course he was posted at Devlali in Nashik as part of his deputation with the SCLU. He was put under suspension after his arrest.
An officer from the Southern Command said: “After his release from jail, Lt Col Purohit will join an Army unit. But because there is an ongoing litigation, there will be certain restrictions and he will not be given any active duty. The Army headquarters will finalise the details of his reinstatement. There will be issues about his rank, the promotions he has missed and the unit of his posting.”
Purohit was commissioned in the Maratha Light Infantry of the Army in 1993 after completion of his training from Officer’s Training Academy in Chennai. After serving in Jammu and Kashmir for four years between 2002 and 2005, he was transferred to Military Intelligence after sustained a knee injury during an anti-terrorist operation. The son of a bank officer, Purohit completed his education from Abhinav Vidyalaya school and Garware College in Pune.
A letter issued by 15th Battalion of Maratha Light Infantry in January 2001, which was shared with the media by his family members after his arrest, reads, “Major Prasad Purohit personally led a patrol comprising five other ranks that encountered a group of approximately five to six terrorists on the Line of Control (LoC) attempting to infiltrate. In the intense firefight, he led his team to eliminate the terrorists after having foiled their attempt to infiltrate.”
Purohit received the Chief of Army Staff Unit citation award in 1997. He was a part of Operation Vijay in Kargil war and Operation Rakshak in Nagaland and has bagged the Operation Suraksha Special Service Medal and Sainya Seva Medal. He has received 17 badges from the Army for his work in anti-terrorist operations including one for for killing three terrorists.