Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lt Colonel stationed in Kashmir main suspect of Hindu terror attacks

MALEGAON BLASTS (Courtesy Daily Greater Kashmir dt. Nov. 9th, 2008)
Mumbai, Nov 8: The Maharashtra ATS made a sensational disclosure in the Malegaon investigations on Saturday about the nature of Lt Colonel Srikant Purohit’s involvement in the blast that killed six people last September. Till now, Lt Col Purohit’s role has been in the realm of speculation and information derived from sources. But now, a New Delhi based news chaneel NDTV has the Anti Terror Squad’s official version, which clearly indicts Purohit for supplying the RDX used in the blasts. There are suspicions that he may have been involved in the further blasts. Investigations show that Purohit, a high ranking army officer, procured the RDX and was familiar with arms and ammunition. Purohit was involved in training accused in bomb making. An wire agency report said that police and central security agencies are trying to trace the links of two of the persons arrested in connection with Malegaon blast to Jammu and Kashmir amidst suspicion that the RDX used in the Maharashtra town could have been smuggled from the militancy-hit state. Officials in ATS suspect Purohit, after being posted in Military Intelligence, used his contacts built during his tenure in Jammu and Kashmir where he was stationed with the 41 Rashtriya Rifles. ATS say that the accused Rakesh Dhavde, Jagdish Mhatre received weapons from Purohit and it was on Purohit’s instructions that the money was given to those involved in blast. ATS has also found out that Purohit attended secret meetings of Abhinav Bharat in Jabalpur and Bhopal. Purohit’s links to Abhinav Bharat have been confirmed by Pragya Thakur, Ramesh Upadhyay, and Sameer Kulkarni. Maharashtra’s Anti-Terror Squad which is probing the Malegaon blast case has made more arrests. Six people were killed in the blast on September 29. Two more people have been arrested from Pune and Vapi in connection with the blast. The blast probe has put some army officers under the scanner. So far 11 people, including a serving Lieutanant Colonel have been arrested. The ATS has arrested the following persons for allegedly being involved in the September 29 blasts in Malegaon - Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Shivnarayan Kalsangra, Shyam Sahu, retired army major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar, Rakesh Dhawde, Jagdish Mhatre and Srikant Purohit.


  1. Lt Col Purohit admits he masterminded Malegaon blasts

    Courtesy: Daily Rising Kashmir dt. Nov. 9, 2008
    Mumbai, Nov 07: Lieutenant-Colonel Purohit, the first serving officer of the Indian Army to be arrested in connection with a terror bomb attack has confessed to being the mastermind of the Malegaon blast.
    The 37-year-old officer told police he had mapped the conspiracy and provided the explosive for the September 29 'revenge' attack which killed six people.

    It is learnt that Purohit, who was arrested on November 5, admitted to supplying the deadly RDX and weapons to members of the Abhinav Bharat, a radical Hindu terror group. Sources said the Mumbai's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) was planning to question another serving army officer in this connection whose name cropped up during Purohit's interrogation.
    Sources said Purohit was conclusively cornered after he was confronted with telephone records that showed his links with another accused, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay. "I am the mastermind of the blast. I arranged for the RDX and weapons but I can't understand how the weapons reached Abhinav Bharat members," sources quoted Purohit as telling police.
    Abhinav Bharat is the Hindu terrorist group which wanted to avenge the attacks by Islamist groups. Several members of the group had links with other saffron outfits.
    While no anti-terrorism squad (ATS) officer was willing to comment on the reported confession, ATS spokesperson Dinesh Agrawala said for the record, "It's not correct."
    He may now be cooling his heels in detention, but Purohit was an accomplished athlete during his college days. He was a national-level waterpolo player and had also won a state-level weightlifting competition.
    The ATS suspect that Purohit trained youngsters in handling explosives. "He imparted training in assembling explosive at Sinhgarh in Pune to the recruits," public prosecutor Ajay Misar told the court.
    Purohit was posted at the Army Education Corps Training College and Centre at Panchmarhi in Madhya Pradesh in October 2007, where he pursued a course in Arabic. The Army promoted him to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in April this year. Soon after his promotion, the police sources said, he attended a meeting on April 16 at the Bhonsala military school in Nashik where other Malegaon blast accused were also present.
    "Since he is a senior Army officer, he could be the source for the RDX, used in the bomb that went off in the textile town," said an officer. Police said that it had evidence that Purohit distributed money to several people through his organisation. "The financial transactions are through hawala as well," said an officer who is probing Purohit's hawala links.
    However, Purohit’s defence lawyer said that the media reports about his confession of being involved in the blasts are not correct.
    The lawyer said the hearing of the case would be held on November 15 and Purohit had not made any confession statements.

  2. Lt Colonel confesses to crime; Seer Produced In Court

    Daily Greater Kashmir dt. Nov. 15th, 2008

    New Delhi, Nov 14: The prime accused in Malegaon blast case, Lt Colonel Purohit, has confessed to his crime in the narco tests conducted on Friday, a news agency quoting sources said.
    Purohit has accepted that the Nanded and Ajmer blasts were masterminded by Dayanand Pandey, a self styled guru, who was arrested by Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad from Kanpur. “Associates instilled hatred against a community, so I did it,” Purohit said.
    The Lt Colonel also said that Pandey introduced him to Pragya Singh Thakur, a sadhvi, who is already under arrest for her alleged links with Malegaon bombing. Purohit further said that at least five hundred people were trained for terror strikes. He revealed that Ahmedabad ashram sheltered these people.
    Meanwhile, Dayanand Pandey was produced in a Nashik Court on Friday. The Anti-Terrorism Squad told the court that Pandey was close to both Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, both main accused in the blast case.
    It claimed huge funds were transferred to Pandey’s bank account by another suspect, Rahirkar. Sources in the ATS, quoting narco-tests conducted on Purohit, say the Swami planned the blasts to counter SIMI.
    ATS claims the Swami asked Purohit to procure RDX. Officials say Purohit had been assigned by the Army the task of gathering information on SIMI in Maharashtra. Sources said Purohit used his contacts in SIMI to make bombs for the Malegaon blasts.
    Pandey’s ashram website displays the spiritual leader hobnobbing with top politicians and film stars.
    The website displays pictures of him with former President Abdul Kalam, being felicitated by former Jammu and Kashmir Governor and Bharitiya Janata Party leader, Jagmohan, in 2005.
    One picture shows him sharing the stage with top political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir like the National Conference’s Omar Abdullah and the Congress leader Mangat Lal Sharma. AGENCIES

  3. Malegaon accused planned contact with Israel, met Maoists: ATS

    Tue, Jan 20 09:50 PM

    Mumbai, Jan 20 (PTI) A few conspirators of Malegaon blast are suspected to have interacted with Maoists in Nepal and the group planned to seek the support from Israel while planning to create a 'Hindu Rashtra', Maharashtra police claimed today. "From our investigations, we have come to learn that some of the accused had gone to Nepal," Addditional Director General of Police K P Raghuvanshi told reporters here.

    Refusing to specify names of the accused who had gone to Nepal and when, Raghuvanshi said they are suspected to have interacted with the Maoists there. "However, there is no evidence to suggest the involvement of Maoists in any way in the Malegaon blast or other activities of this group," he said.

    In the course of forming the proposed 'Hindu Rashtra', some members of the group also considered approaching Israel for support, Raghuvanshi said. "To form this 'Hindu Rashtra', they were prepared to approach the Israeli government for support but largely wanted to attract like-minded people into their organisation," he said, adding they collected funds for activities claiming to be a social non-profit organisation.

    Only the main members of the 'Abhinav Bharat' group like Lt Col Srikant Prasad Purohit knew the funds were to be used for carrying out activities like blasts, Raghuvanshi said. Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad today filed a chargesheet against 11 acccused in the September 29 Malegaon blast in which at least six persons were killed and over 100 injured.