Lt Col Prasad Purohit, one of the prime accused in the Malegaon blast case of September 2008, is not anti-Muslim, his lawyer Shrikant Shivde told the Bombay high court on Monday.
Arguing on a bail application filed by the former military intelligence officer, Shivde said, “While serving in the army in Jammu and Kashmir he also defended Muslims.” Justice RC Chavan, however, discarded the claim terming it irrelevant. “It is [the offence] not about being anti-Muslim or anti-Hindu,” Chavan said.
Shivde also contended that the blast, which claimed six lives, could not be termed a terrorist attack. In support of his contention, the lawyer cited the Supreme Court verdict holding that the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was not a terrorist attack.
“If Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination is not a terrorist act, no act in the world can be a terrorist attack,” Shivde contended, adding, “Although many others were killed in the suicide bomb attack on Rajiv Gandhi, it was not a terror attack, and therefore the Malegaon blast, being similar in nature, could not be termed a terror strike.”
Purohit’s bail plea came up for hearing after the high court granted bail to two accused in the blast case.
On August 3, another judge had granted bail to Indore residents Ramnarayan Kalasangra and Shyam Sahu stating there was no material indicating their involvement in the blast case.
The court will continue to hear the application on Tuesday.