Reams have been written about illegality of Sadhvi Pragya’s detention and ill-Treatment of a person who technically is yet to be proven guilty (forget guilty, even a charge sheet is yet to be filed). Her issue has been raised quite often in various forum – the torture, both physical and psychological ones – discussed in great detail.
Five years after arrest not a single case has been registered against Sadhvi Pragya but torture in custody and repeated administration of Truth Serum has nearly finished her. She had charged ATS with torture and harassment but there has been no respite. Where the heck have woman’s commission or human rights panel gone?
But what the world failed to notice was something that has been bugging me for quite a while in fact since 2008 – with Maharashtra ATS picking up a serving Army Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, a case no less heart rending and makes a very sorry reading. I happened to chance upon these letters written by Lt Col Purohit to Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi. and Letter written to Hon’ble Home Minister Rajnath Singh and as shocked to put it mildly. It has been a litany of lies and cover-up on part of the establishment just to fix a few innocent – who cares even if it demoralizes the Services.
He was supposedly taken in only on November 5th 2008 The fact is that he was under virtual detention since 29th October 2008). It has been proven in Court of Inquiry conducted by the Central Command of the Indian Army that Col Srivastava had illegally abducted & detained Lt Col Purohit (the Movement Order that said Lt Col to report to MI-20 in Delhi but was forced to board a flight to Mumbai)
And in his own words, what followed was a nightmare that even a captured Enemy would never be condemned to. Lt Col Purohit was subjected to 3rd Degree torture from 29th October to 4th November 2008 (this detention is nowhere on records, which makes it illegal, none of his family members were able to reach him). It is only on 4th November that he was formally recorded to be arrested.
It is not out of place to also highlight that Hemant Karkare the then Maharashtra ATS Chief was one among those who tortured Lt Col Purohit during the period of Police Custody from Nov 5th, 2008 to Nov 19, 2008.
What makes things worse – during the entire period, even Army records show him missing (From October 29th, 2008 to 4th November 2008). Despite Court of Inquiry establishing that the evidence (RDX, & Explosives) was planted by ATS personnel on 3rd November 2008 (Assistant Police Inspector Bhagde) in Sudhakar Chaturvedi’s residence in Deolali, Nasik (this is the central piece of evidence around which the entire case is woven). Bhagde was caught in the act by Army personnel as per their deposition in the Court of Inquiry. Shockingly it was on 25th November 2008 under a Panchnama that they claimed to have discovered this evidence. Incidentally, no one took cognizance of the findings by the Court of Inquiry whose records are official and in accessible domain.
Here is an interesting tidbit – The same ATS and Maharashtra Police had invited Lt Col Purohit for training them on understanding SIMI and ISI’s modus operandi and help them plan Counter operations. Possibly it is during these operations in Kashmir and Maharashtra that Lt Col Purohit stumbled upon some inside information that may have exposed the nefarious activities of ATS. It is to cover up this fact that Lt Col is possibly implicated. Surprise of Surprises, the ATS even filed Official ISI/SIMI presentations as part of their Charge Sheet. For an Intelligence officer of our Armed forces, this is a huge Compromise of Safety. An officer who has served 9 out of 14 years away from his family, deserves much better than this.
What makes it even more painful – 9 accused of Malegaon blasts of 2006 that claimed 37 lives and maimed over 125 (yes all with Secular names) walk scot free because NIA chose to reject evidences filed by ATS and CBI