Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Sher Agrawal

[prohindu] Court rejects ATS plea for Pragyna, Purohit's custody

Naresh Khanna Mon, Nov 24, 2008 at 3:39 PM
Reply-To: prohindu-owner@yahoogroups.com
To: Rana Kumar

"Congress is misfortune of Hindusthan, our nation.


Court rejects ATS plea for Pragyna, Purohit's custody

Tuesday, 25 November , 2008, 01:56

Mumbai: In a setback to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad in the Malegaon blast case, a MCOCA court here on Monday rejected the agency's plea for granting it the custody of accused sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Prasad Purohit and Ajay Rahirkar after they alleged physical torture and threat to strip and kill them.

The ATS sought the custody of the trio contending their interrogation was needed to find out the "sinister design of Hindu radical group Abhinav Bharat, which appears to be instrumental in promoting, advocating and inciting unlawful and terrorist activities".

ATS made me hear obscene CD: Sadhvi

However, Special MCOCA Judge Y D Shinde rejected the ATS plea and instead sent them as also four other accused to judicial custody till December 3.

All the seven accused produced before the court on Monday alleged they were physically and mentally tortured by the ATS while they were in its custody.

Clad in an saffron outfit with vermilion on her forehead, sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur told the court that she has been mentally and physically harassed by the ATS.

"ATS officials threatened to strip me and hang me upside down if I did not confess about my involvement in the blast. I am mentally disturbed and not able to eat anything," the sadhvi told the judge.

Purohit said he had been hung upside down from a rod and his hands were tied to two poles due to which he has lost sensation from his wrist to his fingers.

Sena to take to streets for sadhvi

"The ATS, while questioning me, said it would plant RDX in my house and that it would be very easy for it to kill me in an encounter," Purohit told the court.

Another accused and retired army officer Ramesh Upadhyay alleged he was tortured by Additional Commissioner of Police (ATS) Parambir Singh and Sukhwinder Singh in custody.

"Parambir and Sukhwinder physically abused me and then threatened to parade my wife and daughter naked in the police station and get them raped by all the officers here," Upadhyay said.

The sadhvi and Purohit filed an application before the court seeking to be sent for medical examination in order to prove that they had been tortured in custody by the ATS.

Delhi doctor denies link with Malegaon blast

Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian argued that the source from where the explosives came and if money for them was obtained through hawala needs to be probed through interrogation of the sadhvi, Purohit and Rahirkar.

Sadhvi's advocate Ganesh Sonavi, however, argued that the only connection she has with the September 29 Malegaon blast is the vehicle used in the bombing.

"Apart from the vehicle, which was sold to someone else by the sadhvi much before the blasts, the ATS has no evidence to connect Sadhvi to the blast," he argued.

Malhotra wants narco-test of ATS officials

Purohit's advocate Shrikant Shivade argued that police custody is sought only for torturing the accused and forcibly extracting a confession from them.

The court will on Tuesday pass an order on whether a probe needs to be initiated into the allegations levelled against the ATS officials by the arrested accused.

Accepting the defence lawyers' arguments that further custody of the accused would not be required, the court remanded the seven accused to judicial custody.

Eleven persons have so far been arrested in connection with Malegaon blast and all of them were booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) last week.

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