Lt Col Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur charged with terror conspiracy, murder

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An NIA court on Tuesday charged all seven accused including Lt Col Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Thakur for terror conspiracy, murder and other related offences in the 2008 Malegoan terrorist attack case. Other five people charged for the same crimes are Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.

Lt Col Purohit

The NIA court rejected Lt Col Purohit’s plea of deferring the framing of charges and said that the charges were ready, reported news agency ANI.

In December last year, the NIA court had announced that Pragya Thakur and Lt Colonel Purohit will not be tried under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 for their involvement in Malegaon blasts.

Thakur was granted bail in April 2017, while Purohit came out of jail in August last tear amidst a hero’s welcome accorded by the Indian army.

Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on 29 September, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of north Maharashtra, 270 kms away from Mumbai.

Both Thakur and Purohit were arrested in the same year. Purohit was alleged to have floated the right-wing Hindutva group that planted bombs to cause blasts in Malegaon. He was also accused of having collected funds to procure arms and ammunition.

The Bombay High Court on Monday, according to a report by the Indian Express, had also refused to stay the framing of charges by the trial court against Purohit and other accused persons. However, a bench of Justices S S Shinde and AS Gadkari agreed to hear a petition filed by Purohit challenging his prosecution under UAPA next month.

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