Free Press Journal

Purohit reports to army unit, to remain under suspension


PTI Photo

New Delhi: Hours after walking out of jail on getting bail in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Lt. Col. Shrikant Prasad Purohit on Wednesday reported to a Southern Command Liaison Unit in Mumbai, army sources said, adding that he will be under suspension and a disciplinary and vigilance ban.

The sources said Purohit is likely to go to Pune later where the headquarter of his unit is. It is still not certain which unit he will be attached to. However, he may be attached to a unit in Mumbai, as he has to appear for the Malegaon blast case in a court there.

His suspension continues for now, and restrictions on him will be as per the bail conditions. Under a disciplinary and vigilance ban, he cannot be given any operational duty, posting or study leave.

As per rules, under suspension, he will be treated as “under open arrest”, wherein usually a soldier is supposed to wear only his uniform but those under suspension can wear civilian clothes as well. Army sources, however, said a call on whether he can wear his uniform or not will be taken later.

After remaining in jail for nine years, Purohit — one of the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast — walked out of Taloja prison in Maharashtra’s Raigad on Wednesday. Purohit was escorted by an army team as he stepped out of the prison and left for an army unit in Mumbai.

Sources said the escort was provided as there was a “perceived threat” to his life. He was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Monday. Purohit is accused of being part of the conspiracy hatched for carrying out the September 29, 2008 blast in Malegaon, a Muslim-dominated town in Nashik district.

Seven persons were killed and scores injured in the blast, considered the handiwork of a right-wing group, Abhinav Bharat.