Contradicting the claim by ATS Mumbai chief Hemant Karkare that the alleged Malegaon blast mastermind Lt Col Prasad Purohit himself had denied ill-treatment in its custody, the disgraced army man on Friday filed a written submission in a court in Pune alleging coercion and threat of an encounter to extract confessional statement.
Purohit, who will now be charged under stringent MCOCA as announced by ATS on Thursday, was on Friday granted judicial custody by magistrate G G Italekar here in another case of an alleged forgery in procuring a firearm license for one Pune based Milind Date from military quota in Jammu and Kashmir in 2003.
When asked by the judge if he had any complaints, Purohit said he would prefer to make a written submission of grievances instead of being vocal in an open court. The accused was produced in court after expiry of two day police custody in the forgery case.
Later, Srikant Shivde, defence counsel revealed contents of Purohit's statement to media persons and alleged that his client was not safe in the ATS custody.
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.
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 prosecution submitted a production warrant for the other accused who are currently in judicial custody of the Nashik court till November 29.
The MCOCA court directed they be produced before it on November 24.
Chaturvedi was arrested on November 4 outside suburban Dadar railway station for possession of a country-made revolver and a fake Army identity card.
During police interrogation, Chaturvedi revealed that the revolver and identity card was given to him by Purohit. The identity card was a temporary pass which allowed Chaturvedi access the artillery centre in the Deolali camp of the army near Nashik, police sources said.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) officials said that analysis of Purohit's laptop is likely to be completed by Tuesday after which the report would be submitted to the ATS.