A key accused of 2008 Malegaon Blast case Lt Col Prasad Purohit, was walked out of the jail yesterday after Supreme Court granted him interim bail, after spending 9 years in jail. Lt Col Purohit is accused of funding Abhinav Bharat, collecting huge funds to procure arms and explosives and also organizing meetings where the Malegaon plan was planned
On being asked by the army stand in the Malegaon Blast Case, Purohit said in his interview that Army is always stood by him. An inquiry conducted by the Directorate General of Military Intelligence found that Purohit always tried to dissociate himself from the blast case and tried to generate intelligence on the alleged involvement of the prime accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur after he got to know from the sources that she was going to held by Maharashtra ATS.
The inquiry also stated that “the officer is highly indoctrinated, deals with the illegal proliferation of weapons and hiding facts”. The inquiry report also said that his wife, Aparna Purohit, “revealed that her husband has a deep hatred for Islam and he may be involved in activities directed against them”.
Malegaon Blast Case
On September 29, 2008, two bombs fitted on a motorcycle exploded, killing seven people and injuring over 100 in Maharashtra's Malegaon, around 270 km from Mumbai. Initial investigations brought a hard-line pro-Hindu group, Abhinav Bharat, under the scanner and led to several arrests.
An enquiry report of July 27, 2011, asserted that the first information regarding the involvement of Lt Col Purohit was verbally conveyed to the then Chief of Army Staff by the then IB Director on October 22, 2008.
Purohit was also not surprised when MI 9 reached Panchamrhi to confront him as media had been already reporting this issue including involvement of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, and the raid by the Maharashtra ATS at Purohit's home in Pune.
Even according to the report, Purohit had started taken adequate counter-measures to annihilate his linkages with the perpetrators and also asked key persons to switch off mobile.
And when he got to know from his sources about the apprehension of Sadhvi by ATS, he called CO SCLU, IO SCLU (Devlali) and initiated a written report to CCLU Team at Jabalpur intimating involvement of Sadhvi Pragya Singh in the Malegaon Bomb Blast.
It said that during inquiry and interrogation, “his arrogant behavior, occasional absence from class, extreme religious mindset and attempt to purchase semi-auto carbine from… a retired AEC officer settled in Pachmarhi was revealed”.
The inquirer also met Purohit’s wife who “appeared in a state of shock and even accused him of not heeding to her advice to disassociate with religious activities. She further revealed that her husband has a deep hatred for Islam and he may be involved in activities directed against them,” the report stated.
Purohit had a well-stocked library with books on Shivaji, Arabic language, ornithology and children’s literature. “He specifically mentioned a book written by a Marathi author on the mindset of Islam.
A magazine collection of Hindu Mahasabha (Savarkar Gp) was also placed in the house. He took pride in explaining that books on Shivaji were purchased from a defunct library.
Purohit house had also an old sword which he linked to Maratha Army of Peshwas. He had also an SUV and six phones at that time.
He used different mobile nos to warn his associates through direct calls and SMS and told his close associates to switch off their mobile no. and take a new sim, between 07 Oct and 24 Oct 08, the report added.
According to the report, when Purohit was questioned about his association with Abhinav Bharat, accused Ramesh Upadhyay and Bhonsala Military Academy, he was evasive. It said Purohit “did not give clue on the extent of his involvement”.