Sunday, August 20, 2017

2008 Malegaon Blast accused Lt. Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit granted conditional bail by SC

The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Lt. Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon blast case who has been in jail for last nine years. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had opposed to his bail in the last hearing saying that there was enough evidence against Lt Col Purohit. The Supreme Court while granting the conditional bail said “We set aside order of Bombay High court.”
The decision was taken an interim bail plea filed by Lt. Col Purohit on which the court had reserved its decision in the last hearing. The bail was granted by a bench of Justice RK Agrawal and AM Sapre on Monday. The bail plea was filed by Lt Col Purohit after Bombay High Court’s order dismissing his bail plea.
During the hearing on Thursday, Lt Col Purohit had said that he had been caught in “political crossfire” and languishing in jail for nine years without even charges being framed against him. Purohit accepted that he had attended meetings of Abhinav Bharat, a right wing organisation whose members were accused of conspiring in the Malegaon blast, but he had acted as an army officer and passed on the information to his senior officers about group’s activities.
Lt Col. Purohit was represented by senior lawyer Harish Salve who had said, “Since 2001, he has got numerous recommendations for infiltration. From an unsung hero, he has been now called an incarcerated hero.”
Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive town in Nasik district of Maharashtra. A special MCOCA court had earlier ruled that the ATS had wrongly applied this law against Purohit and ten others. The 4,000-page charge sheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the target because of a sizeable Muslim population in the town. The charge sheet had named Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Lt Col Purohit and co-accused, Swami Dayanand Pandey as the key conspirators. However, Thakur given clean chit by the NIA last year. It had alleged that it was Pandey who had instructed Purohit to arrange explosive RDX, while Thakur owned the motorcycle which was used in the blast.

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