'Purohit never reported links with right-wing group'
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) believes that Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, a suspended military intelligence official and an accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blast, never reported his links with right-wing extremists before the blast.Updated: Jul 03, 2012 00:24 IST
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) believes that Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, a suspended military intelligence official and an accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blast, never reported his links with right-wing extremists before the blast.
During an army Court of Inquiry (CoI) into his conduct, Purohit claimed that he had infiltrated the right wing extremists group allegedly involved in bombings mosques and Muslim-dominated areas as part of his official duties. During the CoI, it was also found that around three weeks before Purohit's arrest in the blast case, he made a secret report hinting at the involvement of the extremists in the case.
“By the time Purohit generated the report on October 15, 2008, the Maharashtra ATS knew about Sadhvi Pragya’s alleged involvement. Pragya was called for questioning in Surat by ATS on October 9. All this is a matter of record,” said a home ministry official.
According to NIA sources, the inquiry and the agency's investigation into the Malegaon blast are two different things. Though they will request for the inquiry's record, it will hardly have any bearing on their probe. The agency officials have also spoken to Purohit's seniors but they have denied any official record about his ‘infiltration’.
Home ministry has handed over investigation to the NIA. “We have reasons to believe that Swami Aseemanand knew Purohit from October 2007 and after Sunil Joshi’s murder in December 2007, Aseemanad called Purohit to know who was behind the killing. We suspect that Purohit had three meetings with Pragya in 2008, much before the Malegaon blast,” the official said.