Lt Col Srikant Prasad Purohit, one of the prime accused in the Malegaon blast case, told a Pune court on Wednesday that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Haryana police had threatened to kill him in an encounter.
Purohit was produced before Judicial Magistrate (First Class) G.G. Itkalkar here for allegedly procuring an arms licence for Pune-based Shirish Date by using fake documents. Purohit has been granted two days police custody by the court.
Contesting the forgery case, Purohit also claimed that he was falsely implicated in the Malegaon case, and anti-national elements, like the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), were pleased with his arrest.
In Delhi, a Union home ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, negated a public prosecutor’s charge in a Mumbai court that Purohit was involved in the Samjhauta Express blast. He said, “Investigations are on to gather evidence although news reports are making definitive statements on his involvement.”
Earlier, Purohit’s lawyer Srikant Shivde pointed out that Maharashtra anti-terrorists-squad (ATS) had not followed the Supreme Court guidelines while arresting him. Purohit’s family members, lawyer, friends or relatives were not informed about his arrest, his medical examination was not done and there was no entry of his arrest in any police station.
Shivde also alleged that the forgery case was fabricated as the ATS wanted more time to prepare a charge sheet under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
Earlier, Shirish Date alleged that he had paid Purohit Rs 20,000 to obtain a licence for his revolver. But after learning of Purohit’s involvement in the Malegaon blast case, he decided to check the authenticity of his licence and discovered that fake documents had been submitted. He then voluntarily came forward to file the complaint.
(With inputs from Political Bureau)