On 24th November 2023, the former Commanding officer of the Technical Support Division (TSD) of the Indian Army revealed how Lt. Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit was implicated in the Malegaon Blast Case.
Colonel Hunny Bakshi made the revelations during a podcast with ANI News Director, Smita Prakash. On being asked about Lt. Colonel Purohit, he remarked, “Let me start by talking about Colonel Purohit as a person. He worked indirectly under me in South Kashmir between 2004-2005.”
“He is a 3rd generation army officer and that too a proud one. Very nationalist. The army did two inquiries, the first inquiry was one-sided so the court said that give him a chance,” Colonel Bakshi emphasised.
The Colonel further said, “And when he was given the chance, the army did not find anything against him. That’s a fact.” Colonel Hunny Bakshi then recounted the inquiries conducted against Lt. Colonel Purohit.
Among all documents, he pulled out the one featuring his detailed plan about how he will go about the operation,” he said. He added that during the inquiry, a senior officer had accused Lt. Colonel Purohit of not following the mandate.
“If it was not in Army mandate, why didn’t you ask questions at the time of receiving inputs?” asked Colonel Hunny Bakshi. Two officers of the same unit had however pointed out that they were being briefed about the protocol followed by Lt. Colonel Purohit.
The retired army officer pointed out how conspiracy theories about ‘missing RDX’ were being flouted to build a foundation for the arrest of Lt. Colonel Purohit. He shared how a Mumbai ATS officer was seen rubbing an alleged explosive material on the floor of a ‘suspected’ house to frame Lt. Colonel Purohit
“The recovery itself becomes suspect on the ground that ATS Mumbai may have planted the RDX traces to implicate him and the accused persons in the case,” Colonel Hunny Bakshi read out the NIA charge sheet (page number 47-48).
Colonel Bakshi added, “This is all documented evidence… He is being implicated…When an agency briefs the army about such incidents, the latter becomes duty-bound to support the investigation”. He also pointed out that when a narrative is created in people’s minds, it takes time to dismantle it.
The 2008 Malegaon blast case
On September 29, 2008, bomb blasts took place in the Malegaon region of the Nashik district of Maharashtra which resulted in 6 deaths and 100 injuries.
Soon, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Lt Col Purohit were arrested in connection with the blast, and as a result terms like ‘Hindu terror’ or ‘Saffron terror’ were popularized by some politicians and Leftist media after their arrests.
They continued languishing in jails till April and August 2017, following which they were granted bail. As many as 235 witnesses have been deposed in the trial so far.
Many reports and statements by former bureaucrats had pointed out that Lt Col Purohit was maliciously framed, with planted ‘evidence’ by the former UPA government to fan the imaginary ‘saffron terror’ narrative and distract the public from the scams of the Congress-led government.
It is important to note that one of the blast accused named Sudhakar Chaturvedi in the year 2017 had told the NIA court that the Mumbai ATS had tried to frame the then BJP MP Yogi Adityanath and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on the behest of the Congress-NCP government.
Also, in the year 2021, one of the witnesses made similar statements against the Maharashtra ATS. The witness told the Special NIA court that he was threatened, tortured, and kept in illegal custody by the Mumbai ATS and forced to take the names of five Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) members including Yogi Adityanath, Indresh Kumar, Deodhar, and Kakaji.
Published earlier on Opindia republished in lieu of content sharing agreement with smart4bharat.com
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