Representative Image. Pic/iStock
A real estate agent on Thursday became the 30th witness to turn hostile in the 2008 Malegaon blast case in which Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Thakur is among the accused. The witness had been recruited as secret informer by Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit, one of the accused in the case.
As per the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which initially investigated the case, the witness had given it a statement in 2008. But during the deposition before the court, the witness said he did not recollect giving any statement to the probe agency, following which the court declared him as hostile. As per the prosecution, he is the 30th witness to turn hostile in the case.
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The prosecution had claimed that the witness had told the ATS that he met Purohit through a common acquaintance and they kept in touch. Later, Purhohit recruited him for gathering information for the military intelligence and also gave him an identity card, as per the ATS. Purohit spoke about spreading the Hindutva ideology and told him that he was working on building an organisation on those lines, the ATS had quoted the witness as saying.
The witness had also attended a meeting of the secret organisation Abhinav Bharat in Pune where other accused were also present, the statement claimed. The witness, however, recognised only Purohit in the court on Thursday and not any of other accused. Six people were killed and over 100 injured on September 29, 2008, when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon town.
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