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Top CBI official meets ATS officers

Amid speculation that two more Army Colonels and a Major could be under the scanner for the Malegaon blast, a top CBI official met senior Maharashtra ATS officials probing the case.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2008 21:30 IST

Amid speculation that two more Army Colonels and a Major could be under the scanner for the Malegaon bomb blast, a top CBI official on Friday met senior Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad officials investigating the case.

The CBI official from Delhi was of Joint Director rank and spent the whole day meeting various ATS officials probing the September 29 blast which killed six persons, official sources told PTI.

Apart from meeting senior ATS officials, the CBI official is understood to have also met some of those arrested in connection with the case.

Nine persons, including a 'sadhvi' and a lieutenant colonel, have been arrested for their involvement in placing a motorcycle bomb.

Sources said interrogation of Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit was on, but declined to give any details.

However, reports said that Purohit has confessed to being the mastermind behind the blasts which ATS said was not correct.

Purohit, the first serving Army officer to be arrested in connection with a terror attack, was arrested on Wednesday and is in police custody till November 15.

ATS officials also maintained that they had not so far written a letter to the Army seeking permission for questioning three other Army officers, who are believed to be under the ATS scanner.

The Army officers under the scanner are reported to be from Pune and Devalali in Nashik. ATS was however tight-lipped and did not give any details saying at this stage of investigations nothing could be revealed.

The ATS is reported to be checking the Military Intelligence records of Purohit and those who had associations with him.

Purohit's lawyer Avinash Bhede on Friday said he was not aware of his client having made any confessional statement. However, he added that he had not met Purohit after he was taken into police custody.

For that matter none of Purohit's relatives have contacted him since he was taken into police custody on Wednesday, he said.

Purohit, who began his career in the Army in Assam in 1994, is suspected to have obtained the RDX which was used in the motorcycle bomb.

The ATS had said they had evidence of SMS sent by Purohit to arrested former Army official Ramesh Upadhyay and also said another accused Rakesh Dhawde, a weapons expert from Pune, had been handed some imported weapons by Purohit.

The ATS has also taken permission for conducting scientific tests on Purohit including brain mapping, polygraph and narco-analysis.

First Published: Nov 07, 2008 21:16 IST