A special court on Thursday, adjourned the order on the bail application of Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit — an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case — till September 26.
While filing for bail, Purohit had claimed that Abhinav Bharat Trust, which the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed was used to procure weapons and explosives used in 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 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 be a political party. A registration form was obtained through the sources of the accused,” reads the bail plea. “The documents procured from the Army clearly show the formation of Abhinav Bharat as was informed to the higher authorities of the Indian Army,” Purohit said in his bail plea.
According to NIA charge sheet, Purohit had proposed the formation of a separate Hindu Rashtra at meetings held in Faridabad on January 25 and 26, 2008. Purohit said his senior officials were informed about the meetings. “Documents also that show the accused was cultivating sources from 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 a central hindu government — Aryawart against the Indian government and put forth the idea when he was in exile in Israel and Thailand,” read the NIA charge sheet.
The charge sheet also includes a letter dated March 29, 2011, written by deputy directorate-general of military intelligence to Rakesh Maria, who was then the additional director general of police of the 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 meetings of Abhinav Bharat,” reads the letter.