The Supreme Court of India, on Monday, granted bail to Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon blast case in which seven people had died. Lt. Col. Purohit challenged the dismissal of his bail plea by the Bombay High Court in the apex court. He told the Supreme Court that he was playing the role of a spy of the army and was not involved in any terrorist activity.
Lt. Col. Purohit has already spent nine years behind bars as an accused in the Malegaon blast case since he was arrested in 2008. After being granted bail, he walked out of the Tajola jail of Maharashtra on Wednesday. He spoke to the Times of India while he was completing his bail formalities on Tuesday.
On being asked if he was angry about spending nine years in jail without a trial, Lt. Col. Purohit said that he blamed no one but his destiny. He also said that the Army teaches character, he knows himself and the case has not fazed him. The Army officer also said that his wife and his mother would have disowned him had he ever been dishonest or involved in the blast.
The Supreme Court of India, while granting bail, had observed that the charge sheets filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) were contradictory. The court relied on the documents of the Court of Inquiry accessed by Lt. Col. Purohit through the Army. These documents substantiated his claims of keeping his superiors in the Army informed about attending the meetings which have been termed as a part of the terror conspiracy by the ATS.
An intelligence officer of the military, Lt. Col. Purohit said that his lawyer Shrikant Shivade was his savior. He also said,
I am very happy. I want to get back to my family. I have two families. The first is the armed forces. And my family which is my mother, sister and wife, two sons and my two dogs, and to my horse too, had he been alive still.
Eager to join his service in the Army again, Lt. Col. Purohit said that he had no idea about his new posting. He said,
I will go home first and then see. Very few of us have experienced this kind of thing. Am not aware of the procedure…. The post doesn’t matter I just do the best at my job. Our army is the best institution. The only institution not shaken by ripples in the country… I want my younger son to join the Army. We are a family of soldiers. Will always be.
His strong faith in the Indian Army was reflected in each and every word he said about the organization for which he has worked. The Indian Express quotes Lt. Col. Purohit saying,
The Army did not let me down. I have faith in the Army and my colleagues who stood behind me throughout. It has never been in the tradition or ethos of the Army to let anyone down. Never once did I feel that I was out of the Army. I want to wear my uniform and return to the Army. The uniform is the outermost layer of my skin. I am very happy to get back to it. It has been almost nine years and I would call it a rough patch in my life. The trial still continues and I will take each day as it comes.
The officer says that the Army will decide whether or not action should be taken against the ATS. He also said that if his senior commanders found his claims as right, they would decide whether or not they should take action. The Lt. Col. said that he had faith in himself, his command and his commanders.