Nine years of imprisonment had left Lt Col Purohit with a vain hope of getting out of the iron bars and going back to his real world one day.
He had hoped that he would be breathing free after being granted bail by the Supreme Court. However, his bail procedure could not be completed in time as the required papers needed to reach jail authorities before sunset.
The already disgraced colonel therefore had to spend another night in jail. En route Taloja jail, Purohit said he would be reporting to his army unit on Wednesday and from there, he would head back to the sessions court where the trial against him is going on.
On being asked if he blamed anyone for the nine years wasted, he said, “I blame no one but my destiny.”
It’s only after attending court that Purohit would be returning to Pune to his home, his family and a lovely pet dog. He plans to adopt two more dogs soon and them to his lovely family.
Speaking to the media, Purohit steered clear of questions deemed political. Purohit’s wife herself has been stationed in Delhi since Monday when the bail order was to be pronounced.
However, the one condition that the apex court had imposed – providing two solvent surgeries – was something Purohit was unable to provide immediately.
The procedure mandates that there should be people who own properties in a particular area more than a specified amount, who need to get a solvency certificate from the collector showing that they own the property, and that certificate has to be provided to the court.
Getting that certificate in itself is a tedious task, and so Purohit’s legal team requested the court that he be allowed to give cash sureties in the time the solvency certificates are obtained.
The court agreed and the order was passed on to the lower court for processing his bail. Finally, it was only after 7pm that Purohit could leave the sessions court with his release order.
Last week, Purohit, in his application for bail, told the court that he was in jail for the last nine years and was entitled to be granted bail.
On Tuesday, Purohit said, “I am very happy now. I want to return to my two families, my service and my home. My younger son is 12 years old and wants to join the army like me.”
His wife Aparna Purohit was all in tears and eagerly waiting for her husband’s return since 9 long years. Finally, they get to be together and in teary eyes, she says that they are all looking forward to a long awaited family reunion after so long. She along with her kids have been planning for his welcome.
Taking pride in his family profession, he said, “We are a family of soldiers. I just want to get back to serving my country.” His family has been associated with the infantry for generations. His grandfather and maternal uncles were in the army.
On being asked whether he would take any action against ATS officials who allegedly planted RDX, Purohit said, “I am not an individual. The army will decide. If the army finds my claim right, then the senior commanders will do it. We are taught in the army to have faith in self, command and commander. Everyone will take care at their own stage.”
Back in 2008, a blast had ripped through Malegaon killing six people and injuring more than 100. Maharashtra ATS, which initially investigated the case, had arrested Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Purohit on allegations of masterminding the blast.
NIA, however, took over investigations and filed a supplementary charge sheet saying that MCOCA cannot be applied in the case and there is not enough evidence against Sadhvi Pragya.
Sadhvi Pragya had already been granted bail earlier, whereas, Lt Col Purohit was granted bail yesterday.
The apex court said there were material contradictions in the charge sheets filed by the ATS and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which were required to be tested at the time of trial.
There have been general reactions on Lt Col Purohit’s release.
According to a source, “Lt Col Purohit was earlier denied bail by High Court, but since Army Court of Enquiry said he was clean after examining 12 witnesses, only then he was awarded the bail. After fulfilling all the necessary formalities, he will be bailed out. Since he is under suspension he has been paid only 75 per cent of his actual salary. In an interview he told that, he was given 3rd degree treatment by his fellow army officers and ATS officers in Mumbai and all the evidences were framed against him. In his defence, he might file separate case against them. After his acquittal, he will have to fight for his balance remuneration, allowances and promotion due for all these years. His seniors too graded his outstanding in the past. He still has a long way to go to win dignity back after suffering an unnecessary humiliation for 9 long years. It has been proved through a report by NIA that Malegaon and Samjhauta express blasts were carried out by Muslim terrorist organizations. He will most likely be cleared by court. Whereas to get back to his original service and rank. He still has a battle to fight. Army too has to conduct a General Court Martial where all previous enquiry reports and evidences will be produced to declare him clear of any allegations. Then only he will be given back his well-deserved rank, salary, posting and promotion.”