Pune: Lt Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, after being incarcerated for nine years, finally got an official clarification from the Army Head Quarters that he was operating a source network, through which he obtained intelligence inputs and informed his superiors at an appropriate level about the inputs received through his source.
Lt Colonel Purohit, who was granted bail in August 2017 by the Supreme Court in 2008 Malegaon blast case, has joined his unit after his release from the Taloja jail.
A source said that the Army was aware that Lt Colonel Purohit had always kept his senior officers in the loop but no one in the Army took the initiative to inform this to the investigating authorities on their own.
A copy of the letter dated April 2, 2018, from the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence (Army), DHQ PO, New Delhi, is available with Sakal Times. It states that a letter, dated March 24, 2011, was written by Rakesh Maria, the then Additional Director General, ATS, to DDGMI (B), Military Intelligence Directorate, in which he sought details pertaining to inputs/letters shared by Lt Colonel Purohit with his seniors regarding the meetings and terrorist-related incidents.
In the reply to Maria’s query, the then DDGMI (B) wrote a letter dated March 29, 2011, which stated, “There is no input available with this office regarding any official communication pertaining to any terrorist-related inputs or information about meetings. Subsequently, the DDGMI (B)’s office wrote to officers concerned seeking any available inputs sent by Purohit and consequently, received intelligence reports mentioning that Purohit kept his senior officers in the loop about his intelligence gathering activities.”
Two reports mentioned
The clarification letter (April 2, 2018) mentions two reports dated January 16, 2008 and January 21, 2008, which clearly mentioned that Purohit updated his seniors about his activities.
It is mentioned in the clarification letter that the report, dated January 16, 2008, was signed by Lt Colonel Rajasegharan MC, the then officer commanding, number 3 detachment of Southern Command Liaison Unit (SCLU).
Additionally, Lt Colonel Rajasegharan MC (witness no. 7) during the court of inquiry stated, “In December 7/January 8, I had sent Capt SV Patil to ‘A’ team as there was no officer posted with ‘A’ team at that time. There he got this input”.
The letter further mentions that Captain Patil (witness 42), during the Court of Inquiry, stated, “I was introduced to the sources of ‘A’ team in the absence of any officer there. One of the sources was Sudhakar Chaturvedi, who was introduced as an active source who provides details on political and religious activities in the area of responsibility. Based on this input, the report dated January 16, 2008 was generated.”
The letter of Integrated Headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army) clearly states, “As per the exhibit number 7 (source card) of the court of inquiry, the source, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, was the source of ‘A’ team, Number 3 detachment of SCLU, when Lt Colonel Purohit was the intelligence officer of ‘A’ team. The January 16, 2008 report gave out details with respect to some national-level meetings to be held at Faridabad and Delhi from January 24, 2008 to January 26, 2008.”
While mentioning about the report dated January 21, 2008, the letter from IHQ, MOD, states, “The January 21, 2008 report was signed by Colonel YK Singh, the then commanding officer, SCLU. This report is similar in content to the report forwarded by Lt Col Rajasegharan MC.”
The letter from IHQ, MOD, has clearly stated that Lt Colonel Purohit was operating a source network, through which he had obtained intelligence inputs, and his superiors, at an appropriate level, were informed of the inputs provided by the source (Sudhakar Chaturvedi).
Chaturvedi was arrested by the ATS on November 20, after which his house was raided on November 25, 2008. As per the charge sheet submitted by the ATS, they found explosives at his house. However, he was granted bail by the NIA court in September 2017.