It has been a routine practice for past many years that whenever any terrorism incident occurred in India, the Indian leadership and investigation and intelligence services immediately blamed Pakistani intelligence service and Indian Muslims but the recent arrest of a serving officer of the Indian army and disclosures made by him have proved otherwise.
If the interrogation of the arrested Indian army officer has absolved Pakistan of involvement in some of the terrorism incidents on the Indian soil on the one hand, it proved that extremism and terrorism is not specific to Muslims only but extremists and terrorists could also be found among followers of some other faiths.
Indian Army Lieutenant Colonel PS Purohit procured the explosives used in the 2007 Samjhota Express train bombing and 2008 Malegaon blast, Indian police told a court in Nashik city on Saturday.
Maharashtra police said the colonel had obtained 60 kilogrammes of the explosive from Jammu and Kashmir in 2006 according to a witness in the Malegaon blast case. The court remanded the colonel in police custody until November 18.
Meanwhile, Hindu ascetic Sadhvi Pragya Singh and Lt Col Purohit tested negative in narco tests on direct involvement in the Samjhota Express bombing, but gave important clues about their clandestine network. The Mumbai Police ATS is now tracing two followers of Sadhvi and an Indore-based Hindu Jagran Manch that they believe are the ‘missing link’ in the Samjhota Express bombing, said a senior security official who is part of the investigations.
The suitcases that were used to blow up three carriages of Samjhota Express were traced to Indore, which has emerged as a hub of clandestine activities of Hindu militant groups.
The investigation has revealed how confidence-building measures including train service between archrival India and Pakistan were sabotaged to achieve twin objectives of derailing the peace initiatives between the two countries and maligning the Indian Muslims.
Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad has claimed that Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, who was arrested in connection with the Malegaon blast, was also involved with the 2007 Samjhauta blast.
Quoting from the Narco analysis test of Purohit, ATS said to the Nashik court that the accused had used RDX to carry out the blast in which 68 people were killed.
Putting an end to all speculation, the anti-terror branch of Mumbai Police said that Army RDX was used and not sourced from across the border.
Purohit was in possession of about 60 kg of RDX way back in 2006, when he was posted in Deolali camp of Indian army 16 kilometres from Nashik. Out of 60 kg, he had used a portion in the Samjhauta blast. But what is intriguing is that the investigation agency has no clue about the remaining RDX.
This theory came in sharp contrast with the earlier investigation of Samjhauta blast, in which, it was concluded that not RDX, instead, IED and some liquid chemicals were used.
Meanwhile, the Nashik court has extended the police custody of Purohit till November 18 from November 15.
Earlier, the Lt Colonel had said to the court that he was not ill treated by the ATS personnel as claimed by his family.