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Army rejects Purohit's 'right wing infiltration' claim

July 04, 2012 19:34 IST

Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit was not authorised to infiltrate into any right wing group including 'Abhinav Bharat' as a military intelligence officer, army officials said on Wednesday rejecting his claims in this regard.

The former MI officer, facing both civilian and military trial, had recently claimed that he had "infiltrated" the Hindu radical outfit, which was allegedly involved in the 2008 attack, and kept his bosses in the loop on the issue.

The officer was not authorised to infiltrate into any right wing group as that is not the mandate for personnel of the military intelligence, army sources said in New Delhi.

The Court of Inquiry ordered against him in 2009 has been completed and a report is on its way to the army headquarters where a decision will be taken on further action about the officer, they said.

They said the mandate of the CoI under a brigadier was to find out whether he had violated the Army Act by having links with unauthorised individuals and organisations and not to probe whether Purohit was a terrorist.

The CoI against Purohit was first completed in 2010 but it had to be reconvened on the direction of the Armed Forces Tribunal in New Delhi in March last year as the officer was not accorded the opportunity to cross-examine some of the witnesses in the case.

However, the CoI could be reconvened only after a year and the officer got the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses at Colaba in Mumbai in April.

The CoI againt Purohit had commenced on April 7, 2009 and first concluded on September 1, 2010 after recording the statements of all the witnesses and reportedly recommended his dismissal from service.

In his plea before the AFT, Purohit had alleged that he was given "extreme inhuman treatment" by one Colonel R K Srivastava during his interrogation.

Purohit had also contended that his trial by the CoI was invalid as proceedings against him were already on in a MCOCA court.

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