Book on Malegaon blast accused Purohit released amid heavy security in Pune

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A book based on 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case accused Colonel Prasad Purohit was launched amid heavy police security in Pune on Sunday. Purohit did not attend the programme that was held at S P College.

The book – Lt Colonel Purohit: The Man Betrayed? – was released at the hands of retired IPS officer and former Pune police commissioner Jayant Umranikar. Author Smita Mishra, publisher Renu Kaul Verma, retired Major Gaurav Arya and others were present on the occasion.

Members of the Mulnivasi Muslim Manch and Bhim Army Bahujan Ekta Mission held demonstrations against the book on the college premises while Hindu Mahasangh members shouted slogans in support of the book. Cops detained members from both sides and released them after the event.

The bomb blast in Nashik’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008 had left 10 people dead and several others injured. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested Purohit, then a serving lieutenant colonel in the Army, for his alleged role in the terror attack.

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Recently, Shahid Nadeem, the lawyer representing a victim, had sent an email to NIA, seeking “appropriate action for preventing the book launch”, claiming the event was in violation of a 2019 trial court order . An ex-army officer and a co-accused in the case, Major Ramesh Upadhyaya, had also opposed the book launch and called the event “contempt of court”.

According to author Mishra, the launch of the book did not amount to contempt of court as it mentioned “nothing about the ongoing case trial”.

With activists opposing the book writing to the S P College authorities and Pune City police and threatening to hold protests, a huge force was deployed at the venue during the programme. Top officers, including additional commissioner of police Ranjan Kumar Sharma and deputy commissioner of police Sandeep Singh Gill, personally monitored the security arrangements at the spot.



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