Responding to the National Investigation Agency (NIA)’s charges of violating service rules and criminal activity, lieutenant colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, a key conspirator in 2008 Malegaon blast case, claimed that his actions were carried out with his senior officials in the know.
The NIA in their chargesheet alleged Purohit had floated the Abhinav Bharat organisation in 2006 while still an army officer, violating service rules. Naming him as one of the key criminal conspirators, the agency claimed that Purohit, with the other accused, procured weapons and explosives using funds collected for the trust.
Purohit however denied the charges, stating that the trust was formed after informing senior army officers, and that he wanted to register it as a political party.
In his fresh bail application filed before the special NIA court, Purohit claimed his actions were carried out in the line of duty and that he was gathering intelligence using permissible methods, details of which his superiors were aware of.
The accused filed the application after the Bombay high court directed him to the special court following the NIA filing a supplementary chargesheet. The bail plea is scheduled to come up for hearing on Monday.
“The documents procured from Army clearly show that the formation of Abhinav Bharat was informed to the higher authorities of an Indian Army on the basis of sources developed by the accused,” Purohit alleged in his bail plea.
“The circumstances on record shows that Abhinav Bharat was to be a political party, and even the form of registration of a political party was obtained through the sources of the accused,” he further stated.
In his plea, the officer said he had also informed his senior officials about the conspiracy meetings held in January 2008.
“The evidence on record clearly shows that the accused had informed the details of the alleged conspiracy meetings in January 2008 to his superiors. The documents also show that the accused was cultivating sources of other agencies for military intelligence unit and evidence on record show that on the basis of the intelligence gathered from the conspiracy meetings, the Army authorities have carried out operations.”
The NIA however denied Purohit’s counter allegations. Special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal said the agency will seek to oppose granting of bail as it had sufficient evidence against him.
“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,” read the letter.
According to the NIA chargesheet, on January 25 and 26, 2008, meetings were organised in Faridabad where Purohit had proposed forming a separate Hindu Rashtra.
He read over the constitution of Abhinav Bharat which he prepared, discussed about the formation of a Central Hindu government, and put forth the idea of forming this government in exile in Israel and Thailand, the agency alleged.
Further, the supplementary chargesheet filed on May 13 also includes a letter dated March 29, 2011, written by deputy directorate general of military intelligence to Rakesh Maria, then additional director general of police - Anti Terrorism Squad, denying Purohit’s assertion.