A day after the Supreme Court granted him bail in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit said he wanted to rejoin the army as soon as possible.
“I want to wear my uniform. It is outermost layer of my skin. I am wedded to it. I am very happy to get back into the service of the best organisation in the country if not the world, the Indian Army,” he told reporters outside a sessions court in Mumbai.
Purohit -- whose bail formalities are yet to be completed -- had been brought to the court for a hearing on framing of charges.
“I have two families -- the army and my family which includes my wife, my two sons, sister and mother. I cannot wait to return to them,” he said.
The army didn’t “let me down”, said Purohit.
“It’s been the tradition and ethos of the army not to let down its men,” he said, adding, “I never even once felt that I was out of the army.”
He praised his wife for helping him in his legal fight.
Asked if he will seek action against the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad for allegedly “planting (explosive) RDX on him”, Purohit said he was part of an institution, and if those claims were true, his “seniors” (in the army) will deal with the matter.
“I am too small a fry to fight this,” he said.
Asked if he blamed anybody for his plight, the officer said no one was to blame but his “destiny”.
“The army is the only institution in the country which is not shaken by the ripples of what is happening in the society,” he said.
The apex court had on Monday granted bail to Purohit, who has been in jail for almost nine years for his alleged role in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
Six people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008 at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nashik district of north Maharashtra.
The apex court said there were “material contradictions” in the chargesheets filed by the ATS and the National Investigation Agency, which were required to be tested at the time of trial.
Image: Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Monday in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, being taken to the Sessions Court from Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai. Photograph: PTI Photo