Malegaon Bomb Blast: Taped phone conversation of the alleged ‘conspirators’ : The Indian Express

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cat-is-out-of-the-bag…we-have-to-be-m…/413399/

‘Cat is out of the bag…we have to be meticulous…cautious’
Posted: Jan 21, 2009 at 0338 hrs IST
SUKANYA SHETTY & SMITA NAIR
MUMBAI: For Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit and retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, two of the 11 chargesheeted in the Malegaon bomb blast case today by theMaharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, news that they were apparently hoping would never become public — and lead to their arrest days later — came on October 23 last year.

It was the day The Indian Express first reported that the ATS was believed to have cracked the September 29 bomb blast case and suspected it to be the work of a Hindu extremist group based in Indore. Later that day, the ATS also announced that it had arrested Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur and two of her accomplices in connection with the attack which killed six Muslims during the fasting month of Ramzan.

The news is believed to have triggered hectic telephonic consultations between Upadhyay and Purohit, now named the main conspirator in the chargesheet. The alleged conversations, however, were not private. Their phones had been tapped by the ATS and all the chatter recorded. Transcripts of the calls, among several others, now form a part of the chargesheet and the ATS expects they will play a big role in nailing the case.

The Indian Express is in possession of transcript copies of some of those conversations between Purohit, who was in Madhya Pradesh, and Pune resident Upadhyay. The duo frequently refer to a “Mr Singh” in most of the calls, which ATS sources said was their code for Sadhvi Pragyasingh, based on the interrogation of the suspects.

The first of the transcripts are from a call made at 11.23 am., which lasted 5 minutes and 38 seconds:

 

Purohit: Sir, have you read today’s headlines…

Upadhyay: I have read about Hindu Jagran Manch of Indore being blamed for Modasa and Malegaon blast.

Purohit: That is Singh sahib.

Upadhyay: OK.

Purohit: That means the cat is out of the bag now as far as Mr Singh is concerned.

 

During this conversation, the two men discuss how much the police might know from the information that has been shared with the media and Purohit goes on to ask Upadhyay to get a new mobile SIM card for himself.

 

Purohit:…so what I am suggesting to you is, Sir…

Upadhyay: Yes.

Purohit: If you can kindly procure one more SIM for yourself.

Upadhyay: One more…

Purohit: SIM card.

Upadhyay: OK.

Purohit: Which may not be your own.

Upadhyay: OK.

Purohit: who karle turanth sir (Please do this immediately sir)

Upadhyay: theek hai, dekhta hoon (ok, let me see)

Purohit: Yes, Sir.

Upadhyay: Anything you suspect?

Purohit: No sir, but let us be very meticulous now.

Upadhyay: Yes, we have to be…

 

ATS sources say the two men were also through the day allegedly trying to find out more information about the progress of the case and exchanging notes. Excerpts from one such call which lasted 10 mins and 59 seconds and was made at 5:54 p.m.:

 

Purohit: Some developments, Singh has sung a song quite a bit.

Upadhyay: OK.

Purohit: Situation is of tension. Your name is not figuring there.

Upadhyay: OK.

Purohit: My name is likely to figure.

Upadhyay: OK.

Purohit: This is the last phone call from this phone. I will give you one more number jo maine kal aapko jisse phone kiya tha (from which I had called you yesterday).

Upadhyay: OK.

Purohit: Uske baad main switch off ho jaoonga (I will switch off after that)

Upadhyay: OK.

Purohit: I tell everyone…not to talk to me.

Upadhyay: OK.

 

Later in the same conversation, Upadhyay tells Purohit that police were also making inquiries about him.

 

Upadhyay: See, when the chap has come to me, my name has also figured. There is no doubt about it because otherwise why should anybody come at my place.

Purohit: Yes, but sir, aise hai na, ek to aapka naam aaya hoga (your name must have figured) because of organisation head karke.

Upadhyay: Maybe, whatever be the reason, but checking has started.

Purohit: Yes.

Upadhyay: Checking has started means we have to be cautious.

Purohit: Very much, Sir.

 

Again in this conversation, the two men talk about the Sadhvi and wonder how much information she may have revealed, according to the transcripts.

 

Upadhyay: My suggestion would be that she had taken your name, it is confirmed now.

Purohit: It is confirmed now.

Upadhyay: OK, fine, she has taken your name but they will not be able to trace you immediately, that is for sure.

Purohit: Sir.

Upadhyay: It appears that she might tell the location if she knows.

Purohit: Sir.

Upadhyay: That you are here and there or whatever but then your right name is difficult so immediately it cannot be done. He has changed his number. Sudhakar. So it does not appear that they will be able to directly contact you. So that much safety factor is there and thirdly you are not in the organisation as such.

Purohit: Sir.

Upadhyay: So that much safety factor is still there but naturally some sort of problem cannot be avoided

Purohit: Sir

Upadhyay: Now, well, to tackle it, I suggested that we have a lawyer. Because I was suspecting and something or the other trouble will get created unnecessary and we will have to sort it out.

 

In an earlier conversation during the day, during a call made at 4.12 p.m. which lasted 5 minutes and 18 seconds, the serving and former army officer suspect the hand of the Nationalist Congress Party behind the news. They think the NCP, whose leader R R Patil was then Maharashtra Deputy CM and Home Minister, had leaked the information to divert attention from the furore over Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists attacking north Indian migrants who had come to Mumbai to appear in railway job exams.

Upadhyay was arrested five days later on October 28 and Lt. Col. Purohit on November 5.

 

 

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