Purohit turns hostile, denies meeting Swami Aseemanand
TIMES Hyderabad: Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case and a National Investigation Agency (NIA) witness in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, turned hostile on Wednesday.
Shrikant Prasad Rao Purohit appeared before the fourth additional metropolitan sessions judge-cum-special court for NIA cases amid tight army security. He was cross-examined by the NIA counsel, before the prosecution declared him a “hostile witness”.
While deposing before the court, he denied knowledge of the Mecca Masjid blast or any investigating agency recording his statement as a witness in the case. The reinstated officer de- nied meeting Swami Aseemanand alias Nabakumar Sarkar, the prime accused in the Mecca Masjid blast case, and spoke about Sunil Joshi, who was responsible for the bomb blast at Ajmer Dargah.
Around 1.25pm on May 18, 2007, a bomb blast on the Mecca Masjid premises during Friday prayers had killed nine people and wounded 58. nand had called him on December 29, 2007 and told him that Sunil Joshi was murdered and was “apna banda”. NIA had abated the action against Sunil Joshi, since he had died.
Purohit, deposing before the court, said he had served in the counter-intelligence cell of the Indian Army and met several persons, but did not have any knowledge about the accused persons allegedly involved in the Mecca Masjid blast case. He also told the court that in the Malegaon blast case, he was arrested by the police.
The officer also disowned the “Abhinav Bharat Trust” and told the court that he never founded it. Purohit, however, said he knew Ajay Rahirkar and Kulkarni, accused in the Malegaon-II bomb blast case.