NIA opposes Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Purohit’s bail
Six people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle exploded in handloom town of Malegaon in Nashik district of Maharashtra on September 29, 2008.india Updated: Jul 26, 2017 11:31 IST
The National Investigation Agency has opposed the bail plea of former lieutenant colonel Prasad Purohit, one of the key conspirators in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, and told the Supreme Court he is the “founder member of Abhinav Bharat and collected funds that were used for promoting fundamentalism and unlawful acts”.
Six people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle exploded in handloom town of Malegaon in Nashik district of Maharashtra on September 29, 2008.
In a charge sheet filed in 2009, the state anti-terrorism squad named 14 people, including Pragya Singh Thakur and Purohit who were arrested on charges of being the key conspirators. The investigation revealed blast was allegedly carried out by right-wing group Abhinav Bharat and 11 people were sent to jail in the case.
The case was handed over to the NIA in 2011.
In an affidavit filed in the top court, the NIA opposed Purohit’s bail plea and said Purohit instigated people he came in touch with by showing them videos of alleged atrocities committed by Muslims on Hindus and that they must take revenge by exploding bombs targeting the community.
According to NIA, Purohit allegedly put forth the idea of forming a central Hindu government and that the government in exile should be formed in either Israel or Thailand during a meeting in 2008. It added that while setting up Abhinav Bharat in 2006, Purohit “claimed he was a farmer despite being a serving commissioned officer in the Indian Army.”
The NIA had last year dropped all charges against Thakur and five others, triggering opposition allegations that the “Hindu terror” accused were freed because of government pressure. The agency said it found no evidence against Thakur and others.
In April, the Bombay high court granted bail to Thakur but refused to grant any relief to co-accused Purohit, saying the charges against him were of grave nature.
Purohit then approached the Supreme Court seeking bail. A bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar said that the petition will come up in the regular course while rejecting his plea for an urgent hearing.
In May, the Supreme Court sought a response from the NIA and Maharashtra government on a plea of Purohit, seeking bail in the Malegaon blast case.