Lt Colonel Shrikant Purohit today released on bail from Tajola jail in Maharashtra.. Purohit served nine years behind bars as an accused in the Malegaon blast case. On Monday, Purohit was granted bail by SC after he convinced apex court that “he was acting as an army mole and was not involved in terrorist activity.”
Lt Colonel Shrikant Purohit walked out of jail on Wednesday, on bail, after nine years behind bars as an accused in the Malegaon blast case.
Purohit was released from Tajola jail in Maharashtra after the Supreme Court on Monday granted him bail. The completion of formalities took a couple of days, which is why Purohit wasn’t released immediately after being granted bail in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
Purohit had moved India’s top court after a Bombay High Court order dismissed his bail plea. He was arrested in 2008. He told the SC that he was acting as an army mole and was not involved in terrorist activity.
During a hearing last week, senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Purohit, said he has been in jail for the past nine years but charges have still not been framed against him.
He added that a charge against Purohit, under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), has already been dropped and therefore he is entitled to getting interim bail. A special MCOCA court had earlier ruled that the Anti-Terrorism Squad had wrongly applied this law against Purohit and 10 others.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), said there was evidence against Purohit that would help in framing a charge.
The top court had on May 5 sought a response from the NIA and the Maharashtra government on the plea of Purohit seeking bail.
Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, in Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in the Nasik district of northern Maharashtra.
The 4,000-page charge sheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the blast target because of a sizeable Muslim population there. It had named Pragya Thakur, Purohit and co-accused, Swami Dayanand Pandey as the key conspirators.
It further alleged that it was Pandey who had instructed Purohit to arrange the RDX, while Thakur owned the motorcycle which was used in the blast.
Ajay Rahirkar, another accused, allegedly organised funds for the terror act, while conspiracy meetings were held at the Bhonsala Military School in Nasik, it had said.
Rakesh Dhawde, Ramesh Upadhyay, Shyamlal Sahu, Shivnarain Kalsangra, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Jagdish Mhatre and Sameer Kulkarni were the other accused.