Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, who is accused of conspiring the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, told the Bombay High Court on January 6 that he never aligned with the Hindu hardline group that allegedly masterminded the terror attack.

He said he was in touch with them only to gather intel inputs on behalf of the Indian Army, reported News18.

Lt Col Purohit has filed a plea before the Bombay HC arguing that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) cannot prosecute him in the Malegaon Blast case as he was a military intelligence officer who was only “discharging his duties”.

The army officer’s lawyer Neela Gokhale told the court that he had attended the conspiracy meetings held for the 2008 Malegaon blast only to collect intelligence inputs. Purohit has also maintained that he was in constant touch with his superiors, informing them about his “actions and associations with Abhinav Bharat”.

The Lt Col is one of the main accused in the Malegaon blast case along with Bharatiya Janata Party MP Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.Notably, during the investigation, the NIA had spoken to seven military intelligence officers all of whom had denied having any knowledge of Purohit’s undercover operation.