India wont hand over Malegaon suspect to Pak, says its an internal matter

January 20th, 2009 - 3:36 pm ICT by ANI  

By Praful Kumar Singh

New Delhi, Jan 20 (ANI): India today ruled out handing over Lt. Colonel Srikant Purohit, who is allegedly involved in the Malegoan blast case, to Pakistan, giving a serious blow to Pakistani tactics to link it with the Samjhauta Express blast of 2007.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of an investiture ceremony held at the annual NCC Republic Day camp here, Defence Minister A K Antony made it clear that there is no question of India handing over anyone to Pakistan.

The Malegoan blast case is under investigation. It is our internal matter and we are inquiring about it. How can Pakistan say about it, Antony added.

Antony was responding to Pakistan Prime Ministers Interior Adviser Rehman Maliks statement that if India insisted on extradition of suspects of the Mumbai terror attacks, Islamabad can ask for handing over of Lt. Colonel Srikant Purohit.

Yes, we can demand extradition of Purohit, Malik said.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Police has filed the chargesheet in the Malegaon blast case before a special MCOCA court, seeking to extend the judicial custody of all eleven accused, which is coming to an end.

The bail application of five prime accused in the September 29 Malegaon blast, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Colonel Purohit, Ajay Rahirkar, Shivnarayan Kalsangra and Sham Sahu, will also come up for hearing before the court.

The Malegaon blast took place on September 29, 2008. A motorcycle-laden bomb went off killing seven and injuring more than 70.

The probe by the Mumbai ATS opened a can of worms pointing fingers towards a right wing Hindu extremist group and serving military intelligence officers. (ANI)

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