Investigations into the Malegaon bomb blast case have unearthed another Pune connection — Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, who has been summoned by Maharashtra Police’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS) for questioning.
This is for the first time that a serving army officer has been called for questioning in a terrorism-related case. Lt Col Purohit, who is in his thirties, lives in Panchmarhi with his wife and a son, but his mother and sister live in the familiy’s Pune residence.
Although most of the Purohits’ Pune neighbours were tight lipped about the family, an old gentleman on conditions of anonymity said the family suddenly left the house after Lt Col Purohit was called for questioning.
He went to a Marathi-medium school, Abhinav Vidyalaya, and had a dream of joining the army. After graduating from Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce (BMCC), he went to the Chennai-based Army Training School and joined the army as a short-service officer. He was posted in Deolali in Nashik district and in Indore as an artillery officer.
Though Lt Col Purohit had never come into contact with any Hindu organisation, he was close to Maj. (retired) Ramesh Upadhyaya, now in police custody in connection with the Malegaon blast. The common thread between the two: they both served in the artillery unit at Deolali.
A top police officer said on condition of anonymity that Lt Col Purohit was present at the inaugural function of Abhinav Bharat, which was allegedly involved in the blast. Meanwhile, Abhinav Bharat national president Himani Savarkar, who admitted that Maj Upadhyaya and Sameer Kulkarni were members of the organisation, has not been called for questioning.