Saturday, December 9, 2023

Malegaon blast: Bombay HC asks Lt Purohit about Hindu terror group Abhinav Bharat’s meet

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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday questioned Lieutenant Colonel Purohit, an accused in the Malegaon Blast case of 2008 and Hindu militant on why he had attended the conspiracy meetings which discussed plans to conduct the blasts and what steps he took to prevent the blasts after he attended the meetings, reported legal website Bar and Bench.

The court was hearing a plea filed by Purohit assailing the special court move to take cognizance against him in the Malegaon blasts case without obtaining the requisite sanction from the government under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

“If he knew whatever was going to happen, did he take any step to prevent it,” Bar and Bench quoted Justice Shinde as enquiring.

Interestingly, Advocate Shrikant Shivade appearing for Purohit informed the court that Purohit had attended the meeting to gain inside information on the Malegaon Blast to give the intelligence information to his officers.

As per the National Investigation Agency (NIA), this meeting was organised by a Hindu militant group called Abhinav Bharat and the conspiracy for the blast was hatched in Mumbai. Six people were killed and over 100 injured in the blast that took place near a mosque in Malegaon on September 29, 2008.

The court further asked whether there was any documentary material to substantiate the claim that Purohit had attended the meeting as part of his official duty.

“Is there any document to show that the military has asked you to do it? Your endeavour is to show that it is part of your work. Who asked you to attend? Who deputes you to do the job?” court asked.

The court then asked Purohit: “So what you were doing in the meeting with Abhinav Bharat is creating counter intelligence, is it?”.

To this, lawyer replied, “Yes to counter terrorism, he was trying to find counter-intelligence. And Abhinav Bharat was not a terrorist organisation. The organisation was doing anti terrorism work.”

Court also asked why Purohit could not raise these issues before the trial court and why they were being advanced before the High Court.

Due to the paucity of time today, the Court adjourned the hearing to February 15, 2021.

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