WELCOMING THE Supreme Court’s decision to grant bail to 2008 Malegaon blasts accused Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, Hindutva outfits Abhinav Bharat and Sanatan Sanstha on Monday sought justice for other “Hindus”, who they alleged, were arrested falsely in the case and demanded action against those who “conspired” to “frame” the likes of Purohit. The Pune-based Abhinav Bharat came under the scanner of investigating agencies in the Malegaon blasts, while the Sanatan Sanstha is under probe after its members were charged with the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar and Leftist leader and anti-superstition activist Govind Pansare.
The blasts in Malegaon, in Nashik district of Maharashtra, in September 2008 had left seven people dead. Besides Purohit, Ajay Rahirkar, Samir Kulkarni, Major Ramesh Upadhyay (retired) — all Pune residents and said to be members of the Abhinav Bharat — are among 12 accused arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which initially probed the case. The NIA later took over the investigation.
Milind Joshirao of Pune, who now heads Abhinav Bharat, said, “We are happy that Lt Col Purohit has got bail, but justice is not done yet. The legal battle will continue until Purohit and others accused in the case are acquitted of all charges and legal action is initiated against those who framed them.”
Satyaki Savarkar, son of Himani Savarkar who headed the outfit when its members were arrested for suspected involvement in the blasts, said, “We respect the court order and hope that all Hindus falsely arrested in the case also get justice.” Himani, daughter of Gopal Godse, who was a convict in the Mahatma Gandhi murder case, provided legal support to the accused. She died on October 11, 2015. “Lt. Col. Purohit is a brave Army officer. It was our duty to support him and his family by all means,” Satyaki said.
Calling Purohit’s bail a “victory of truth”, Sanatan Sanstha said in a statement: “We have only one demand. The police officers concerned, who had persecuted innocents such as Sadhvi Pradnya Singh, Col Purohit, by hatching a conspiracy against them should be severely punished. The day this happens would be the day of true justice.”