Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), on Saturday, declared a witness hostile in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. He had allegedly attended an ‘adventure camp’ managed by some of the accused, apparently meant to indoctrinate youth. At the camp, speeches were made against Pakistan, and training in ‘self-defence’ and ‘lathi drills’ was conducted, as per his previous statements.
The witness became the second prosecution witness to be declared hostile by the NIA; the first one being a witness concerned with articles seized from accused Col. Prasad Purohit. The prosecution has till date examined 188 witnesses in the case.
In his previous statement, the witness, who had been a student at the time, had said that he had got acquainted with an accused when seeking guidance for a military Service Selection Board (SSB) interview. He said later he and a friend were invited to an ‘adventure camp’ in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh. In the camp, where they were present for eight days, there were 45 youths in the 20-35 age group. The expenses for food were looked after by Col. Purohit, he had said in the statement.
About the camp, he had said that apart from physical training for an hour in the mornings, they were given lectures on how terrorism grows in India, and that Pakistan, when it could not win the war against India, started creating unrest by spreading fake currency and drug menace in the country and through bomb blasts. The youth were urged to unite for the country. Besides, they were also given self-defence and lathi drill training.
The witness had stated that though they had been called in the name of adventure camp, they found there was no knowledge given to them on it. They found that the camp would not be beneficial to them to get selected in the SSB and they were also missing classes. They left the camp on October 29, 2008.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)