HC Probes Malegaon Blast Accused Purohit; Next Hearing on 15 Feb

“If he knew whatever was going to happen, did he take any step to prevent it?” asked Justice SS Shinde.

2 min read
Photo of 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit.

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday, 9 February, probed Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, an accused in the Malegaon Blast case of 2008, on what measures were taken to prevent the incident if he had prior information.

Purohit had claimed he had attended conspiracy meetings as part of his duty as an intelligence officer. His plea was heard by the HC bench, chaired by Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale.

“If he knew whatever was going to happen, did he take any step to prevent it?” asked Justice SS Shinde, according to Bar and Bench.

On Purohit’s behalf, his advocate Shrikant Shivade submitted to the court that his client had attended meetings to gain intelligence to submit to his officers. He added that the meeting was a “socio-political one”, and there was no mention about the proposed blasts.

“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?”
Justice Pitale, as quoted by Bar and Bench.

To this probe, Purohit’s advocate submitted that as an intelligence officer, there is no paper trail and no delegation of work. Purohit’s role was to work on the case and report to his seniors.

The case was adjourned by the HC for 15 February, and all counsels have been asked for written submissions before the hearing.

The Blasts

Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, about 200 km from Mumbai, on 29 September 2008.

Following this, on 24 October 2008, the police arrested Thakur, Shiv Narayan Gopal Singh Kalsanghra and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu. On 4 November, the ATS arrested Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, a serving Army officer for being the alleged “brain behind the conspiracy".

(With inputs from Bar and Bench.)

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