Purohit involved in Samjhauta Express blast too?November 15th, 2008 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS
Nashik, Nov 15 (IANS) Malegaon bomb blast accused Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit was Saturday further remanded in police custody till Nov 18 to facilitate investigations into new leads pointing to his possible involvement in last year’s Samjhauta Express bomb blast in Haryana state.Special public prosecutor Ajay Misar told the chief judicial magistrate’s court here that Purohit as an army officer was in charge of 60 kg RDX in the Deolali army camp near Nashik during his posting there in 2006 and that some of the explosive material was supplied to Bhagwan Das, an absconding accused in the Samjhauta Express blast.
A witness to the RDX theft in the Deolali camp is present in Nashik, Misar said.
As many as 68 passengers, including some Pakistani nationals, were killed in the blast that took place inside the running train Feb 18, 2007, 90 km north of Delhi in Haryana state, Misar recalled.
Earlier, the army officer was brought from Mumbai for court apparance on expiry of his 10-day police custody remand.
Seeking a three-day extension of Purohit’s demand, Misar told Judge H.K. Ganatra that new leads have emerged from the army officer’s interrogation and narco-analysis test conducted on him in Bangalore.
The leads need to be probed in conjunction with the interrogation of self-proclaimed Sharada Sarvadnya Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Amritanand alias Dayanand Pandey, who was Friday remanded in police custody till Nov 26, the special public prosecutor said.
Purohit’s counsel Avinash Bhide opposed the demand for extended police remand, arguing that it was being sought only because the investigating agency was not been able to get any evidence to prove the army officer’s involvement in the crime during his 10-day custody.
The judge disposed of a complaint of Purohit’s torture filed by his kin after examining x-ray and other medical examination reports obtained from Bangalore Army Hospital, which did not corroborate the charge.
Purohit himself answered in the negative when the court asked him whether he was tortured in the police custody.
Meanwhile, a team of the Haryana police Saturday interrogated Pandey in connection with the Samjhauta Express blast. The interrogation was held in the Mumbai headquarters of Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).