Indian Army tightens systems post-Purohit episode

November 12th, 2008 - 10:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, Nov 12 (IANS) The Indian Army is tightening its system of checks and balances in the wake of a serving officer being arrested for his alleged links to terror blasts in Maharashtra, a top commander said Wednesday.”We have a system of checks and balances in the army, which we are strengthening further to ensure such incidents do not recur,” Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor told reporters here on the sidelines of a defence function.

“We are checking on postings and profiles. I have nothing more to say,” Kapoor added.

Lt. Col. P.S. Purohit was arrested Nov 5 for his alleged involvement in the Sep 29 Malegaon blast. He is the first serving army officer to be arrested on terror charges.

He is suspected to have obtained the explosives used in the Malegaon blast that killed five people during the month of Ramadan. The Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) is also probing whether he siphoned funds from the Military Intelligence directorate during his posting there.

Nine other people, including two retired army officers and a Hindu woman missionary, have also been arrested in the case.

The CBI is also looking at the possible involvement of those arrested in the Malegaon blast, including Purohit, in the 2006 Nanded blast in which four alleged Bajrang Dal activists were killed while assembling a bomb.

Investigators have also widening their probe to determine whether more uniformed personnel are part of a bigger network to have infiltrated the armed forces.

Unwilling to share details of the case, which are at a “sensitive” stage, investigating officers believe that Purohit may have “indoctrinated” other personnel with his political views and could not have worked single-handedly in planning such an attack.

“The arrest of Purohit is already a big blow to the army. After the current round of arrests of Hindu radicals linked to the army, top generals are just hoping this is a one-off case that does not prise open another can of worms,” said a senior official who is monitoring the case.

According to a member of the investigation team overseeing the probe, interrogation of Purohit has been extensive and investigators were going through his telephone calls and correspondence with a fine toothcomb.

“That he was keen on establishing a home-grown right-wing terror network is certain. We want to know how far it has spread and the people involved,” the official said.

Purohit is also believed to be a founding member of the right wing Abhinav Bharat group.

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