Lt Col Purohit seeks SIT probe into his 'abduction'

Lt Col Purohit seeks SIT probe into his 'abduction'

Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. (PTI File Photo)

Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit has approached the Supreme Court seeking a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into his alleged abduction and illegal detention to “advance a political agenda of creating a furore over ‘saffron terror’”.

Lt Col Purohit is an accused in the September 29, 2008, blast at Bhikku Chowk in the communally-sensitive town of Malegaon in Nashik district, in which six people were killed and 101 injured.

After being in jail for nine years, Lt Col Purohit was granted bail by the Supreme Court on August 22, 2017. He is now attached to the Colaba Military Station in Mumbai.

In a writ petition filed by advocate Neela Gokhale on his behalf, Lt Col Purohit cited a recent interview given by former joint secretary (MHA), R V S Mani, and also a book, "the Hindu Terror-Insider account of Ministry of Home Affairs 2006-2010", to contend that he was falsely implicated in the case and branded a "terrorist" only for the reason that “he was breaking the back of the radicals such as SIMI, ISI terror network etc”.

“The petitioner has been framed by some factions in the previous government, for political reasons, including to introduce a face of terror under the guise of ‘saffron terror’,” his plea stated.

On Monday, his petition was put before a bench of Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and U U Lalit for consideration. However, Justice Lalit recused from the hearing.

Lt Col Purohit, a serving army officer in the Intelligence Corps, also sought compensation for having been “tortured brutally by the officials of the Maharashtra ATS”.

He also cited documents from the army to claim that he was performing his legitimate duty as an intelligence officer at the relevant point of time.