History of LT COL involved in Bomb Blasts


History of LT COL involved in      Bomb Blasts  
Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit, the serving Army officer being questioned by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra Police in connection with the Malegaon blasts, belongs to the Intelligence Corps and was posted in Nashik with the Army’s Liaison Unit (ALU). It was there that he first got in touch with Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, the ex-Army officer who is currently in police custody for his alleged role in the blasts.Sources in Delhi said that Purohit was moved from Nashik last year to take a Chinese language course at the Army Education Corps College in Panchmarhi, Madhya Pradesh, where he is currently posted.

Army Headquarters confirmed that ATS officials met Purohit to “seek clarification from him so as to proceed with further investigations.”

“The officer has been called to help the ATS in their investigations as he was in touch with some of the suspects as part of his posting. As a Liaison Unit officer, he was in touch with several people, including ex-servicemen in the region,” a senior Army Officer in New Delhi said.
While Purohit has been moved to Mumbai by Army Headquarters to “facilitate” interaction with the ATS, sources confirmed he had been in constant touch with Upadhyay and some other suspects in the blasts during his tenure in Nashik and may have even attended some meetings at the Bhonsala Military School.
Sources said Purohit was also being questioned on his role in Abhinav Bharat, the Pune-based organization founded by Upadhyay. This is emerging as the common link between Upadhyay, ABVP member Sameer Kulkarni and Purohit.

For, Kulkarni, a close associate of main accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, is known to have organized a “Foundation Day” function for Abhinav Bharat’s Madhya Pradesh unit on April 12 this year in Bhopal. It is still not confirmed whether Purohit attended this function.

But the ATS, in its remand to the Chief Judicial Magistrate on Thursday, told the court that Kulkarni and Thakur had met Upadhyay on April 16 at Nashik’s Bhonsala Military School — one of the series of meetings that took place between the three.

The ATS is now probing if Purohit was also party to this meeting at the school.

Early this week, Colonel (Retd) S S Raikar, the Bhonsala School commandant, confirmed that the ATS had called him for an “informal discussion to share views.”

Purohit is also connected to Pune, where Kulkarni and Upadhyay were based
and his family lives at Erandwane off Law College Road in the city. He is said to have been in contact with activists of various social and Hindu organisations in Pune.

When The Indian Express went to his home on Thursday, a woman family member said: “I don’t know anything.”

It has been learnt that before joining the Army, Purohit had taken coaching for Service Selection Board (SSB) interviews from Col Jayant Chitale of the Maharashtra Military Foundation. “I remember him. He was intelligent and outstanding,” said Chitale, when asked about this officer.

Incidentally, Chitale had once claimed that he “imparted” training to youths to form suicide squads for operations in Pakistan.

     Friday, 31 October 2008

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