Skip to main content

Purohit was 'caught in political crossfire'? Why was he fully ensconced with organizations like Abhinav Bharat?

Counterview Desk
Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association statement on the Supreme Court granting bail to Lt Col Purohir:
The Malegaon accused Lt. Colonel Shrikant Purohit has been granted bail by the Supreme Court.
We know that bail in terror cases, especially those involving bomb blasts, is rare, if not altogether impossible to secure.
Take for example, the following cases. Mohammad Aamir Khan’s bail application was repeatedly turned down even when his lawyer furnished medical certificates vouching that his old mother has suffered a paralytic stroke. This, when he had spent over 12 years in jail, and had been acquitted in over dozen of the 19 cases he was implicated in. The reason was that the case was too ‘sensitive’.
Abdul Wahid Shaikh spent 11 years as an undertrial in the Mumbai suburban train blasts case, during which he developed an eye ailment following custodial torture but his bail application on medical grounds was rejected consistently. Even where absolutely NO violence was alleged, as in the Kabir Kala Manch case, Sachin Mali, Sagar Ghorke and Ramesh Ghaichor could secure bail only from the apex court five years into their incarceration. We hope the 'justice' shown to Lt. Col. Purohit can be extended to all terror-accused.
From our experience of working on terror trials, we know that evidence in these cases is often flimsy -- with investigators relying largely on confessions, and exaggerated hope that the judges will overlook the lack of evidence and defer to the ‘sensitive’ nature of these cases. So it is not unusual for terror accused to spend protracted years in jail before being acquitted.
However, the Malegaon case is no run of the mill terror case. There are strong grounds for suspecting that evidence is being rendered flimsy deliberately by the prosecution. Rohini Salian’s revelations earlier gave credence to it.
NIA’s clean chit to Sadhvi Pragya – despite very crucial material evidence in the form of her motorcycle that was used to mount the explosives – was a clear indication of the agency’s complicity and interest in the destruction of the entire case. It was only a matter of time that other key accused would also be let off. Bail may be the first step in that direction.
What is however most fascinating in the entire Col. Purohit saga is his defence that he was merely a mole for military intelligence, on whose behalf, he claimed, he had infiltrated these right wing organizations. Purohit’s lawyer argued in court that he was duly reporting on the conspiracies being hatched by the organisation to the MI.
We are told that even his intercepted telephonic conversations with other co-accused, and conversations of the meetings recovered from the laptop of Swami Amrutanand where Col. Purohit is heard sharing the political vision of ‘Aryavarta’ with co-accused, should be seen in context of the covert military operation where he was trying to generate counter intelligence. In short, the claim seems to be that Col. Purohit was carrying out his professional duties by infiltrating and spying on these organizations which the MI thought constituted a potential threat to national security.
How does this then square with the fact that these very organizations, which were being apparently spied upon by Col. Purohit have adopted him to the extent of offering him legal aid. Today’s newspapers report that Himani Savarkar (who passed away in 2015) provided legal support to Purohit. Her son, Satyaki Savarkar, has told the Indian Express that “Lt. Col. Purohit is a brave army officer. It was our duty to support him and his family by all means”. (Indian Express, 22 Aug 2017). His claim that he has been 'caught in political crossfire' does not stand up to scrutiny, when it is clear that he is fully ensconced with organizations like Abhinav Bharat.
The Sanatan Sanstha has demanded that all police officers who frame innocents should be punished. (Indian Express, 22 August, 2017). For once we would agree with them. We will be only too happy to send a list of such innocents whose lives have been ruined by false charges and extended incarceration. Start with Mohd. Nisaruddin who spent 23 years in jail before being acquitted by the Supreme Court in 2016.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.