Who is Lt. Colonel Srikant Purohit, an accused in the Malegaon blasts case
After spending almost 9 years in jail, Lt Colonel Srikant Purohit was granted bail in the Malegaon blasts case on Monday.
Purohit was a military intelligence officer who was accused by the NIA of forming the Abhinav Bharat. The NIA says Purohit hid his association with Abhinav Bharat, but he claims he was gathering intelligence and his senior officers were aware of his work.
Purohit, along with the other accused, allegedly procured weapons and explosives using funds collected for the trust.
According to the NIA, Purohit held meetings in Faridabad on January 25 and 26, 2008, where the formation of a Hindu Rashtra was discussed. Purohit allegedly read over the constitution of Abhinav Bharat, discussed about the formation of a "Central Hindu government in exile in Israel and Thailand.
The NIA also accuses Purohit of organised an arms training camp under the guise of an 'Art of Living' event in Panchmarhi in September 2005.
On September 29 2008, at 9.30 pm, a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded near a Masjid in Malegaon in Maharashtra. Six persons were killed in the explosion while 101 were injured. The case was first probed by the Maharashtra ATS following which the NIA took over the probe. The ATS charged 13 persons for the crime, including Purohit and Pragya Thakur.