Arrest of Colonel an aberration on army, says Deputy Army Chief

November 6th, 2008 - 8:30 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi/Nasik, Nov 6 (ANI): Deputy Army Chief on Thursday, termed the arrest of Lieutenant Colonel in connection with bomb blasts in two western towns as an aberration on the army.

Lieutenant-Colonel Srikant Prasad Purohit was arrested by the police on Wednesday in connection to the Malegaon blasts that killed five people and were blamed on a Hindu militant group.

Addressing the reporters in New Delhi , Lieutenant General S.P.S. Dhillon said the accused, if found guilty, will be dealt with accordingly.

It is Wednesday’’s news which I also saw in newspapers. But if you ask me, it is an aberration. It is not as if everyone in the army is involved in such activities. If found guilty he will be punished accordingly, said Dhillon.

A local court in Nasik has remanded Purohit to police custody till November 15.

The court also approved conducting narco-analysis test on Purohit.

The officer is accused of helping Hindu militants with bomb-making and other logistics in the attack in the Muslim-dominated towns of Malegaon and Modasa in September this year.

A retired soldier was also questioned in the case, which has embarrassed the army.

Adding further Dhillon said, though there was pressure from the militants in some villages on the youth to join them instead of the army, but, it is not as if they are misled into joining the militants.

I think, it is a misunderstanding. I want to tell you all, that there are some villages where terrorists go and threaten the villagers asking them to join them. Such kind of pressure is there at some places, but it is not as if our army personnel join them, said Dhillon.

For years, bomb attacks in India have mostly been blamed on Islamist militants. Even attacks on mosques were often blamed on Islamists seeking to spark communal tensions between India ‘’s majority Hindus and minority Muslims.

Muslim leaders have accused authorities of conducting a witch hunt and reinforcing stereotypes about their community after dozens of Muslims were detained following a string of bomb attacks across the country this year.

Two suspected Hindu militant fundamentalists died while trying to build a bomb in the northern town of Kanpur in August. (ANI)

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