Arrested army officer is our well-wisher: Abhinav Bharat chief

November 6th, 2008 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Pune, Nov 6 (IANS) Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit, arrested by Maharashtra’s Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) for his alleged role in the Malegaon bomb blast, was a good friend and well-wisher of Abhinav Bharat, the chief of the Hindu right-wing outfit said Thursday.”He is Abhinav Bharat’s good friend and well-wisher, though he could not be our member, being a serving army officer,” Himani Savarkar, the president of Abhinav Bharat, told reporters here.

The Abhinav Bharat chief, who has stood in defence of the outfit’s campaigner Sameer Kulkarni and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, both accused in the Malegaon bomb blast, described the allegations against Purohit as totally false. Savarkar said it was part of a vicious campaign to defame patriotic Hindutva forces and the Indian Army.

Clarifying that she has never personally met Purohit, a “patriotic army officer sharing good vibes with Abhinav Bharat”, Savarkar said though she headed the organisatin she was not aware of its activities like training programmes and lecture meetings at various places.

Purohit was in touch with Kulkarni and Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay besides other bomb blast case accused through SMSes before and after the Sep 29 blast, the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has told the Nashik chief judicial magistrate’s court.

Maharashtra’s ATS arrested Purohit late Tuesday for his links with the bomb blast in Malegaon, which killed five people and which was blamed on a Hindu militant group. He has been remanded in judicial custody till Nov 15.

The police suspect that Purohit helped accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, retired army Major Ramesh Upadhyaya and his associate Sharad Kulkarni in procuring explosives used in the blast.

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