Posted by: informer | January 25, 2009

Did 2 successful operations in the past: Lt-Col in ATS chargesheet

Mumbai: The September 29 Malegaon bomb blast may not have been the first such attack allegedly orchestrated by Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit, named the main conspirator in the case, and possibly some of the other accused, according to the chargesheet filed by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in a Special MCOCA court this week.

In the pile of documents and evidence submitted by the ATS as part of the chargesheet is a transcript of an audio recording allegedly found on Mahant Sudhakar Dwivedi’s laptops where the arrested Army officer is quoted talking about “two operations” they had earlier conducted.

Maharashtra police sources have in the past alleged that the mahant, who is also in custody, used his laptops to record all his meetings — including the ones where the Malegaon conspiracy was allegedly hatched and planned — either as audio or video files. Four of his laptops have been seized and the content has been listed in the chargesheet as evidence while some conversations have been transcribed and attached as documents.

One such transcript of an audio file created on January 26, 2008, and titled ‘sanatanbharat.wma’, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, refers to an alleged conspiracy meeting on the same day in Faridabad. It was allegedly attended by Purohit, Dwivedi, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni and Sudhakar Chaturvedi, all of whom have been arrested and charged in the case.

The ATS alleges that it was at this meeting that Purohit agreed to supply the explosives for attacking Malegaon while Chaturvedi took the responsibility of arranging two men to plant the crude bomb. During this meeting, where the conversation was all in Hindi, Dwivedi allegedly tells the others that “some homework has been done about the issue they have been discussing” and that its “basic concept” is clear.

Purohit allegedly joins the conversation, according to the transcript, and says that while the matter has been discussed earlier, everyone needs to be involved in the process of taking a decision. Then he allegedly said, “Main kuch baat kahunga isse pehle kabhi nahi kahi gayi thi. Do operation humne kiye, successful ho gaye. Operation karne ki meri kshamta hain, swamiji. Mere paas equipment ki kami nahi hain. Main equipment paida kar sakta hoon. Equipment la sakta hoon. Agar jab thaan leta hoon. Lekin target chun na yeh mere ek ke vishay ke hisaab nahi hona chahiye.”

(I will say something which I have not talked about before. We did two operations in the past and they were successful. I am capable of doing operations. I have no dearth of equipment. I can get equipment if I take it upon myself. But choosing the target should not be my decision alone)

The transcript does not contain details of these operations and ATS officials refused to comment as the case is now awaiting trial. Defence lawyer Naveen Chomal, who is appearing for all the accused, said, “It is not appropriate to comment right now. Police might have several theories floated at this stage but to prove this in the court would not be as simple.”



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