Purohit handed over to Pune ATS


Nashik : Malegaon bomb blast accused Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit was Tuesday handed over to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Pune for his interrogation in a three-year-old case of beating up a Christian priest in Khadki near that city.

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He will be brougght before a court in Pune Wednesday for police custody remand, Judge H.K. Ganatra of the chief judicial magistrate court here explained to him.

While another Malegaon blast suspect, Samir Kulkarni, has been accused of beating the priest and absconding after that, the Pune police want to probe Purohit’s role in the case, the court was told.

Kulkarni, who shifted to Madhya Pradesh from Pune over two years ago to spread the rightwing Hindutva group Abhinav Bharat’s message, was Tuesday remanded in magisterial custody in the Malegaon case and sent to Nashik jail along with Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and six others.

Earlier, Mumbai ATS handling the Malegaon bomb blast case presented Purohit to the court and sought his magisterial custody on expiry of his police custody. A team of police from Pune had arrived to claim his custody for the Khadki assault on a Christian.

Purohit’s lawyer Avinash Bhide objected to his client being handed over to the Pune ATS on the plea that Judge Ganatra was holding charge in the absence of Chief Judicial Magistrate K.D. Boche.

Purohit’s transfer to the Pune police ensures that he remains available to ATS even after the expiry of his maximum permissible police custody of 14 days.

Police sources said Nashik police were meanwhile preparing to seek the army officer’s police custody remand for a case of fake arms license.