Prime accused in Malegaon blast case Lt Col Srikant Prasad Purohit today made a written submission in a court in Pune alleging that Mumbai ATS threatened to eliminate him in an encounter and tried to extract confession from his under duress.
Purohit, remanded in 14-day judicial custody by Magistrate G G Italekar in a 2003 case of alleged forgery in procuring an arms license for one Milind Date in Pune from J and K, sat in the court room to write his grievances after the judge asked him whether he had any complaints regarding his two-day police remand which expired on Friday.
"I have no complaints against Pune police. But I want to submit in writing my grievances," he said. Purohit's advocate Srikant Shivde told the court that the accused did not want to air his grievances in an open court and would prefer to put them in writing.
The contents of Purohit's written submission were informed by his lawyer to the media afterwards.
Shivde told mediapersons that in the written submission to the court, Purohit has given details of the "pressure and physical and mental torture" he was subjected to by Mumbai ATS which tried to "extract confession forcibly" from his in regard to involvement in the September 29 blast.
Earlier, the prosecution made a plea for a seven-day police custody of Purohit to unravel his connections in Jammu and Kashmir and further investigate whether he was part of a gang that procured illegal arms and forged licences from the military quota.
The defence counsel Shivde consented to three-day police custody. He also alleged his client would be framed in another case immediately after being taken to Nashik court and his police custody would continue till November 29 till he is produced before Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court in Mumbai.
All the ten accused arrested so far in the blast were yesterday booked under stringent law MCOCA.
"My client will be safer in police custody than in the ATS custody," he remarked.
The Magistrate, however, rejected the prosecution demand for police custody and remanded Purohit to judicial custody. Purohit will now be taken to Nashik and put in the central prison there.
Six persons were killed in the blast in the powerloom town in North Maharashtra's Nashik district.
Purohit also complained of an "encounter" threat by ATS, the defence lawyer said. On a plea from the accused, the judge allowed him to carry medicines and some books along with him to Nashik.
The defence counsel told the court that Purohit was vulnerable to attacks of asthma and needed certain medication in his possession.
Purohit's wife Aparna, too, was present in the court.