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Did Purohit filch Army ammo?

india Updated: Nov 27, 2008 02:43 IST
Presley Thomas

A counter-insurgency operation in 2001 that Prasad Shrikant Purohit, then a Major, undertook along the LoC in J&K’s Uri sector has made investigators sit up and probe if the officer had a well-established network to pilfer explosives from Army depots.

Purohit had undertaken this operation on January 23, 2001, where he was posted as a company commander with 15 Maratha Light Infantry.

What has caught the eye of investigators is the mention of Plastic Explosive Kirkee (PEK), an explosive meant for military use and made only at the High Explosive Factory at Khadki in Pune, along with recovery of other arms and ammunition that Purohit claimed after the operation.

The factory at Khadki (also Kirkee) handles explosives like RDX — found to have been used in the Malegaon blast — for military’s use.

Spokesperson from the media liaison unit of Army headquarters in New Delhi confirmed that in the country PEK is made only at the ordinance factory near Pune. “PEK means plastic explosives manufactured at Kirkee,” he said.

PEK is a high intensity explosive generally used for demolition purposes.

A letter marked ‘confidential’ from the officiating commanding officer of the 15 Maratha Light Infantry, details of which HT has accessed, recommended Purohit for the Chief of Army Staff's Commendation Card “for driving back 5 to 6 militants who had allegedly infiltrated” and for “recoveries in the operation including a revolver, five grenades, three detonators, PEK weighing approximately 500g”.

Investigators are surprised how explosive prepared for the Army was found in possession of militants, who Purohit claimed infiltrated from Pakistan.