A special court in Mumbai is likely to decide on the bail application of Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit — an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, on Monday.
Earlier, while filing for bail, Purohit had claimed that Abhinav Bharat Trust, that the national investigation agency (NIA) claimed was used to procure the weapons and explosives used for the blast, was formed keeping senior army officers in the loop and was to be registered as a political party.The NIA’s charge sheet, filed on May 13 this year, said Purohit flouted the service rules by forming the outfit in 2006, despite being an army man. The agency said Purohit and the other accused collected funds for the outfit, which were then used to buy weapons.
In his bail plea, Purohit said he was acting in discharge of his duty to gather more intelligence. “The circumstances show Abhinav Bharat was to become a political party and even a registration form for the same was found through the sources of the accused,” reads the bail plea. “The documents from the army clearly show that the higher authorities of the Indian Army knew about the formation of Abhinav Bharat,” Purohit said in his bail plea.
According to the NIA charge sheet, Purohit had the proposed formation of a separate Hindu Rashtra at meetings held in Faridabad on January 25 and 26, 2008. Purohit said his senior officials had been informed about the meetings. “Documents also show that the accused was cultivating sources of other agencies for the military intelligence unit,” said the plea.
In its reply, the central agency denied Purohit’s claims.
“On 25, 26/11/2008, in a secret meeting at Faridabad, this accused (Purohit) proposed a separate constitution for a Hindu Rashtra with separate flag -- Bhagwa flag. He read over the constitution of Abhinav Bharat which he had prepared, discussed the formation of the Central Hindu Government — Aryawart against the Indian Government and put forth the idea of forming the Government in exile in Israel and Thailand,” read the charge sheet.
The charge sheet also includes a letter dated March 29, 2011, written by the deputy directorate-general of military intelligence to Rakesh Maria, who was the then additional director-general of police – anti-terrorism squad denying Purohit’s contention. “There is no input available with this office regarding any official communication made by Lt Col PS Purohit to his superior officer, pertaining to any terrorist related inputs or information about the meetings of Abhinav Bharat,” reads the letter.