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Malegaon probe: Lt Col Purohit in more trouble

November 18, 2008 16:33 IST
Last Updated: November 18, 2008 20:09 IST

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Fresh charges were on Tuesday slapped on Malegaon blast prime accused Lt Col Srikanth Prasad Purohit who was taken into custody by the Pune Anti-Terrorism Squad for cheating and submitting fake documents.

Purohit, 36, working with Military Intelligence, was produced before a Nashik court where the Mumbai ATS sought his judicial custody, which was granted till November 29.

However, the Pune ATS moved an application seeking the army officer's custody in another case registered with them. Purohit was arrested earlier this month in connection with the September 29 Malegaon blast that killed six and injured 80. He is among ten, including sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, arrested for their alleged role in the blast.

Pune ATS officials informed the court that a case under sections 465 (punishment for forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), 474 (having possession of documents described in section 467) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code had been filed against Purohit.

They also submitted an order from a Pune court regarding his arrest.

Purohit, who has been subjected to brain mapping and narco analysis tests, is being probed by the Mumbai ATS for possible links with last year's twin explosions in Samjhauta Express train that left 68 dead.

The army officer is also alleged to have conducted an arms and explosives training camp for members of a little known right wing group Abhinav Bharat.

The custody of another Malegaon blasts case accused, Sameer Kulkarni, an Abhinav Bharat functionary, who is also in judicial custody till November 29, was also transferred to the Khadki police station in Pune, special counsel for ATS Ajay Misar said.

Kulkarni's custody has been transferred to the Pune police in connection with a case lodged against him in 2007 for assaulting a Christian religious leader.

Purohit and Kulkarni are likely to be produced in a Pune court on Wednesday, Misar said.

Among those arrested so far are self-styled guru Dayanand Pandey who was picked up from Kanpur last week, Abhinav Bharat treasurer Ajay Rahirkar, retired major Ramesh Upadhyay and Rakesh Dhawade, who raised funds for the terror modules.

Maharashtra police is on the look out for three more persons in connection with the Malegaon blast probe.

The judicial remand of eight of the 10 accused, including the sadhvi, in the case, was on Monday extended till November 29 by the court on Monday, which turned down the Gujarat police's plea for interrogation of nine of them.

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