Published On: Thu, Aug 24th, 2017

Lt Col Purohit appears before Special NIA Court

Mumbai: A day after his release from jail, Indian Army officer Lt Col Prasad S Purohit was taken to a Special NIA Court under tight security by the military and Mumbai police.

Lt Col Purohit had reported to the Colaba Military Station of the Indian Army’s Southern Command

The National Investigation Agency Special Public Prosecutor Avinash Rasal said the hearing on framing of charges in the Malegaon 2008 blast case, in which Lt Col Purohit is one of the prime accused, would continue on August 28.

Following his release after spending nine years as an undertrial in the 2008 Malegaon case on Wednesday, Lt Col Purohit had reported to the Colaba Military Station of the Indian Army’s Southern Command for a debriefing session and other formalities.

On both days, he was accompanied by his wife and family members as the family prepared for the ensuing 12-day long Ganeshotsav festival starting Friday.

Interacting briefly with the media, his wife Aparna P Purohit said “it was an emotional moment for the family to be reunited after so long.”

“He was very happy to meet our children. Its yet to sink in. I was fighting alone, now he will join me,” said Purohit’s elated wife, who stood behind him solidly during his ordeal.

However, the family is unsure if he will be able to join the Ganpati celebrations being planned at their home in Pune after his release on conditional bail granted by the Supreme Court on Monday.

Granting bail, the apex court had observed there were contradictions in the chargesheets filed by the NIA and the Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) in the case.

Lt Col Purohit and a co-accused in the same case, Sadhvi Pragya, were among the 11 persons chargesheeted by the ATS in January 20, 2009 in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

However, Sadhvi Pragya was granted bail by the Bombay HC in April this year on health and other grounds.

On the evening of September 29, 2008, a powerful bomb exploded near the Nooraji Mosque in Malegaon killing six persons and injuring 100 others.

An officer of the Maratha Light Infantry since 1994, Lt Col Purohit was arrested on November 5, 2008 and was charged as one of the main conspirators in the blast case which was linked to a right wing group, Abhinav Bharat, by the investigators.

 

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