A key witness in the 2008 Malegoan blast case was declared hostile by the special NIA court here on Saturday after he retracted his statements made before the Maharashtra ATS. The witness had told the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad, when it was probing the case, that, in 2008, he had attended an "adventure camp" where a discussion on the spread of terrorism in India as well as Pakistan's role in weakening the country through other means like drugs and fake currency was held.
In his statement at the time, the witness had said Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, one of the seven accused in the case, had delivered a lecture at this event. The witness also said though it was called an "adventure camp", nothing about adventure was taught there. However, while recording his testimony before the court on Saturday, the witness denied giving any such statements, after which he was declared hostile by special judge P R Sitre.
So far, 188 witnesses have been examined, and this was the second witness to turn hostile, said special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal. Besides Purohit, the other accused in the case are Bhopal BJP Lok Sabha MP Pragya Singh Thakur, Major Ramesh Upadhyay (retd), Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni, all of whom are out on bail.
They are facing trial under provisions of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Indian Penal Code (IPC). On September 29, 2008, six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon town, some 200 kilometres from Mumbai.
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