Ahead of the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast trial, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi on Thursday said that Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, an accused in the case is being framed under bogus charges and should be honourably discharged.
Rohatgi asserted that his client Lt Colonel Purohit is being framed under bogus charges and he will prove his innocence to the court.
Ahead of today's hearing in the case in the National Investigation Agency court (NIA), Rohatgi said, "I think it is a completely bogus case against Colonel Purohit. He was a member of the military intelligence of the Indian Army."
Rohatgi also demanded Purohit be absolved of all charges and said, "He is a decorated officer. To accuse him of being guilty of Hindu terror etc is clearly absurd. I will show it to the court. He is not a terrorist and was never involved in any terrorist act. He should be completely and honourably discharged. He has suffered a lot already."
Besides Purohit, BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar and Sudhakar Chaturvedi are also accused in the case.
They have been charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the Explosive Substances Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The charges include sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA and sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153 (a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups) of the IPC.
Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a town in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.
( With inputs from ANI )