Malegaon Blast Case: Court Allows Accused LT Col Prasad Purohit To Examine 7 Witnesses

Malegaon Blast Case: Court Allows Accused LT Col Prasad Purohit To Examine 7 Witnesses

Purohit had sought to examine nine witnesses, including a senior army official, on the point of sanction granted to prosecute him, his alleged illegal detention, arrest and handing over of custody to the Anti Terrorism Squad.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 12:47 AM IST
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Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit | ANI

Mumbai: Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit has been allowed to examine seven witnesses to prove that he was illegally arrested and that the sanction acceded to the prosecution him was illegal. Purohit had sought to examine nine witnesses, including a senior army official, on the point of sanction granted to prosecute him, his alleged illegal detention, arrest and handing over of custody to the Anti Terrorism Squad.

The National Investigation Agency had objected to the examination of the army official as he has already been examined as prosecution witness and cross-examined by Purohit’s lawyer. Besides, Purohit wanted to refer to several documents which the prosecution said were confidential and belonged to the court of inquiry held by the army against Purohit.

The court discarded the plea for two witnesses. It said the army official was already a prosecution witness while for the second witness, Purohit had failed to provide details of the address to issue summons. Purohit has in his written statement claimed that he was tortured to confess his role in the blast and name senior right-wing leaders of the RSS and VHP, including Yogi Adityanath, who was then an MP from Uttar Pradesh.

Purohit has alleged that the ATS concocted the case to suit the political narrative of the then government in power. He has alleged that it was only in August 2008, the then president of the NCP, Sharad Pawar, at a rally of his party workers at Alibaug made a mention of ‘Hindu terrorist’ group and thereafter the term ‘Hindu terror’ came in the limelight.

Besides, he claimed that in the last week of October 2008, Col RK Shrivastav (now retired), the then director military intelligence from army headquarters, came to Pachmarhi, where Purohit was on duty and asked him to surrender his mobile phone. Later, on October 29, 2008, he was asked to proceed to Delhi. However, at Bhopal he was directed to reach Mumbai. Upon reaching the city, he was taken to Khandala where he was tortured to reveal his sources and network of informants, Purohit stated.

He was allegedly taken to an isolated bungalow, where then ATS chief Hemant Karkare, Param Bir Singh and one Gajanan Kabdule, police inspector from ATS, were present, who later began assaulting him.

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