Serving Col Purohit arrested in Malegaon bomb blast case

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Mumbai, Nov 5 (UNI) Serving Lieutenant Colonel Srikant Purohit was today formally arrested by the officials of Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) for his alleged involvement in Malegaon bomb blast on September 29 that claimed six lives and several others injured. With the Colonel's arrest, the total number of people arrested in this case had gone up to nine including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay and others.

Top ATS officials confirmed the news and said the army has handed over Purohit to them here.

''We have made a 'formal' arrest of Purohit and investigation is in progress,'' they said.

Asked about his role in the blast, the officers declined to comment on it, and said it depends on what comes out from the investigations.

Purohit may be produced in the court later today, they informed.

Purohit is believed to the founding member of 'Abhinav Bharat', the right wing radical Hindu outfit. This is the first case wherein any serving army officer had been taken into custody for interrogation in connection with blast charges.

ATS officials claimed that there was a link between Purohit and Upadhyay, a suspect in the blast. They said the Colonel had sent five SMSes to Upadhyay and he had also instructed the latter to change his mobile number.

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