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'Purohit's arrest has hurt the Army's prestige'

November 06, 2008 15:01 IST

The Army's 'prestige has been hurt' after the arrest of its serving officer in connection with the Malegaon blasts, the Deputy Army Chief said on Thursday, but stressed that it was a 'freak' incident.

"The Indian Army's [Images] prestige has been hurt after our officer's name came up in the Malegaon blast case," Lieutenant General S P S Dhillon told reporters on the sidelines of the Sainik Sammelan on 3/3 Gurkha Rifles representation in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Congo.

Malegaon blasts: Colonel Srikant Purohit arrested

Lieutenant Colonel Srikant Purohit was on Wednesday arrested in Mumbai for allegedly supplying money and explosives for the September 29 Malegaon blast. The officer was posted at the Army Corps Training College and Centre at Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh [Images].

The Deputy Army Chief said the Army will take action after it receives a report from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad.

Malegaon blast case

Lt Gen Dhillon said that the involvement of its serving Lieutenant Colonel was a 'freak' incident and the Army had its own mechanism for keeping a check on these kinds of activities by its officers.

"This is a freak incident. We have our own mechanism for keeping a check on these kinds of things," he added.

The Army had last week given permission to the ATS to interrogate Purohit.

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On the participation of the Indian troops' in peacekeeping operations in Congo, Lt Gen Dhillon said the country's troops have been performing well in UN operations there and will continue to do so.

"Our troops have been doing a good work there and will continue to do so," the Deputy Army Chief said when asked if India will continue sending troops there after they came under attack from rebel forces recently.

India has the largest representation in UN's Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo comprising a brigade in Goma with over 4,500 troops. A total of 17,000 blue berets are deployed to maintain and enforce peace there.  

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