September 1, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New Delhi: Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court of India in the 2008 Malegaon blast case after nine years in prison, has repeatedly argued that he was the Army’s mole in pro Hindutva organisations. This was also a key argument in his plea for bail. However, a 2011 inquiry report of the Directorate General of Military Intelligence (DGMI) had found his presence in several of the Hindutva group meetings to be “illegal”.
The DGMI probe, which began in October 2008, shortly after Lt Col Shrikant Purohit’s name cropped up in the 2008 Malegaon blast, revealed that beginning October 2007, He used his “relaxed work environment” at the Army Education Corps (AEC) Training College to hold meetings and negotiations with prominent religious leaders and arms dealers. Most of these meetings — with people such as Swami Aseemanand, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, then RSS chief K S Sudarshan, VHP chief Praveen Togadia, Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and an arms dealer from Bangladesh with Hindutva links — were illegal, the probe held.
Among his various records of absence from the AEC college, the DGMI report details one on December 24, 2007, when he attended a meeting organised by Swami Aseemanand in Pune. “The meeting was attended by Vilas Pawar of Sree Ram Sena (Karnataka), Pramod Muthalik of Hindustan Rashtriya Sena, Bharat Rateshwar alias Bharat Bhai of Vivekanand Kendra (Gujarat) and Dr Seetharamaiah (Andhra Pradesh). Abhinav Bharat (the pro-Hindutva organisation founded by Purohit) was represented by Sudhkar Chaturvedi, Ajay Rahirkar and the officer,” the report said.
It said Aseemanand had called the meeting to persuade attendants to merge Abhinav Bharat with existing Hindutva organisations but was not successful. “Officer’s presence at the meeting was illegal,” said the report. On February 16-17, 2008, the report said, Purohit visited Kolkata and interacted with Bangladeshi national Raju Saha for weapon procurement. “Swami Aseemanand, Ms Himani Savarkar, Sameer Kulkarni and Bharat Bhai were present in Kolkata. Offr’s (officer’s) interaction with BD national was illegal,” notes Indian Express (IE).