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'Purohit supplied RDX for Samjhauta blast'
November 15, 2008 17:25 IST
Last Updated: November 15, 2008 22:38 IST
Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit allegedly procured 60 kg RDX from Jammu and Kashmir [Images] in 2006, a part of which is suspected to have been used in the Malegaon blast and also in the Samjhauta Express train explosions, the prosecution told a court in Nashik, giving a new dimension to the ongoing probe by the Anti-Terrorism Squad.
Purohit, arrested in connection with the Malegaon blast, was produced before a Nashik court on Saturday, which granted further police custody till November 18 for detailed questioning.
The Army officer, among ten arrested in connection with the Malegaon blast, has been subjected to brain-mapping and narco-analysis tests.
Special Prosecutor for the ATS Ajay Misar told the court that a witness submitted that in 2006 Purohit had claimed he had 60 kg of RDX in his possession, which he had got from Jammu and Kashmir.
The RDX is suspected to have been used in the September 29 Malegaon blast and the twin explosions in the Samjhauta Express in 2007, which killed 68 people.
Purohit gave a portion of the RDX to one Bhagwan, who is suspected to have used it in the Samjhauta Express blast, Misar said.
Purohit, 36, who was in the Military Intelligence wing of the Army, had told the authorities that he had thrown the RDX into the Jhelum River, the special counsel said.
However, it is suspected that he transported the RDX to Deolali in Nashik, Misar said.
Interestingly, Purohit had interacted with the ATS in the past and in 2005 had even given a talk on operational techniques and strategies to them. The investigators suspect that he is closely linked to a little known right wing group Abhinav Bharat.
Purohit is also alleged to have conducted arms and explosives training camp for members of this group in Panchmarhi in Madhya Pradesh [Images], between October 16 and 21 in 2006, Misar said.
The ATS also told the court that it was investigating the source of the RDX which Purohit had obtained.
The public prosecutor told the court that they had found evidence of links between Sadhvi Pragya Thakur Singh and self-styled guru Dayanand Pandey.
"The ATS has found during the course of the investigations that Pandey had introduced Purohit to Ramji Kalsangra, who is wanted in the Malegaon blast," Misar said.
The court dismissed an application filed by Purohit's father-in-law, alleging torture in police custody, after the army official denied it to the court. Also, medical records did not show any evidence of physical torture.
In Mumbai, Maharashtra police chief A N Roy voiced his dismay over charges against the ATS by the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party combine that the arrests in the connection with the blast case were politically motivated.
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