21 August 2017

Evening NEWS DIGEST (Early)
21 Aug. 2017: 28 Zulqidah 1438:Vol:8, No:261
Lt Col Purohit, main accused in 2008 Malegaon blast case, granted bail by Supreme Court
New Delhi:The Supreme Court today granted interim bail to Lt Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, the main accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case which killed seven people.Last week, Purohit, in his application for bail, had told the court that he was in jail for the last nine years and was entitled to be granted bail.Denying his involvement in the incident, Purohit told the court that even assuming that the charges that he had supplied the bomb were true, even then he would have to be out of jail as the offence attracted a maximum of seven years imprisonment.Appearing for the NIA, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh opposed the bail plea, saying there was evidence of his involvement in the Malegaon blast.At least seven persons were killed and nearly 100 injured when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle exploded in Malegaon in Nashik district on September 29, 2008.On April 25 this year, the Bombay High Court granted bail to another accused in the case, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.Purohit had challenged the April 25 Bombay High Court order which granted bail to another accused, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur but rejected his plea.Both Pragya and Purohit were arrested in 2008. Sadhvi, who is suffering from cancer, is undergoing treatment at a Madhya Pradesh hospital.According to the investigating agencies, the Malegaon blast was allegedly carried out by right-wing group Abhinav Bharat. NIA, which was handed over the Malegaon blast probe from the ATS, had given a clean chit to Pragya, but said that the charges levelled against Purohit are of serious and grave nature.While opposing Purohit's bail plea, the NIA had argued that there was evidence in the form of audio and video recordings, call data records and the statements of the witnesses which prove his involvement in the case.According to the NIA, Purohit had allegedly taken active part in the conspiracy meetings of Abhinav Bharat and even agreed to arrange explosives to be used in the blast.Referring to the NIA report, the Bombay High Court had said, "Purohit was the one who prepared a separate 'constitution' for the 'Hindu Rashtra' with a separate saffron colour flag. He also discussed taking revenge for the atrocities committed by the Muslims on Hindus."The High Court also refused to accept Purohit's contention that he had attended the meetings as part of a "covert military intelligence operation".The court pointed out that according to the statements of the witnesses, it was Purohit who had said that Abhinav Bharat should not be just a political party, but should work as an "organisation of extremists", having the capacity to "eliminate persons opposing the same". Purohit has claimed that the NIA was "selective" in exonerating the accused persons, and that the agency had made him a "scapegoat" in the Malegaon case.india today
 Compiled and edited by Anwarulhaq (Released at: 11:44 AM)


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