Thursday 24th Jan 2019
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Union Home Minister’s U-Turn Absolving ‘Hindutva terror module’ or compromising his own credibility!

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SYYED MANSOOR AGHA turns only a few leafs of reports and disclosures made public at the various points of time, revealing nay strengthening the already known fact that there is a stronger ‘Hindutva terror module’ than meets the eye, to suggest that our Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s bid to eat humble pie for his statement on Hindutva terror is not in the fitness of things.

It was Sunday, 20th January, we heard Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde saying:  “On one hand we are trying to bring peace. We are also taking steps against injustice towards minorities as also against infiltration. But, in the midst of all this, we have got an investigation report that be it the RSS or BJP, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism. We are keeping a strict vigil on all this.”

He further said addressing the AICC Chintan Shivir in Jaipur, “Whether it is Samjhauta Express blasts, Mecca Masjid blasts or the Malegaon blasts, they planted the bombs and blame the minority…. We will have to think about it seriously and will have to remain alert.”

His was not the first disclosure of Sangh activist’s involvement in terror acts. His predecessor P. Chidambaram had made similar admission on 25 August, 2010. While inaugurating a three-day conference of state police chiefs and Inspector-Generals of Police, Mr. Chidambaram had said: “There is no let-up in the attempts to radicalise young men and women in India. Besides, there is the recently uncovered phenomenon of saffron terrorism that has been implicated in many bomb blasts of the past,” he was quoted as saying.

His statement too stirred a hornet’s nest and was ruthlessly attacked by RSS and BJP. Really what he described ‘a recently uncovered phenomenon’ of ‘saffron terrorism’ was not new at all as a mountain of evidence exists in public domain.

Mr. Shinde also came under the attack of BJP, freshly energised after dumping its tinted president and electing Mr. Rajnath Singh in a coup like transfer of baton. To blunt the attack, Union Home Secretary Raj Kumar Singh came out in support of his boss with a list of ‘at least 10 persons arrested for their involvement in a spate of terror attacks in different parts of the country, who had links with RSS or its affiliated organisations.’

Addressing a press conference on 22 January in New Delhi, Mr. Kumar said, “Yes, during investigation of Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and (Ajmer) Dargah Sharif blasts, we have found at least 10 names who have been associated with the RSS at some point or the other.”

Replying to a question whether the government has any evidence linking RSS with any person involved in any terrorist strike anywhere in the country as claimed by our Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Mr. Singh told: “We have evidence against them. There are statements of witnesses.”

The home secretary also gave the names of ten persons who were caught in terror attacks and also have links with RSS. The list included Sunil Joshi (now dead), who was kingpin of the terror module of RSS men responsible for blasts in Samjhauta Express and Ajmer Sharif Dargah blasts. He was an ‘activist of RSS’ in Dewas and Mhow from 1990s to 2003. He had worked as District Pracharak for several years.

Among others are Sandeep Dange (absconding), involved in Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif Dargah explosions. He was ‘RSS pracharak’ in Mhow, Indore, Uttarkashi and Sajhapur from 1990s to 2006.

Lokesh Sharma (arrested) was involved in Samjhauta Express and Mecca Masjid blasts. He was RSS ‘nagar karyavahak’ in Deogarh.

Swami Aseemanand (arrested), involved in Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif Dargah blasts. He was ‘associated with RSS wing Vanavasi Kalyan Parishad’ in Dang, Gujarat from 1990s to 2007. His confession in a court has opened a Pandora’s Box of misdeeds of Sangh activists.

Rajendar Chaoudary alias Samunder (arrested), involved in Samjhauta and Mecca Masjid blasts. He was ‘RSS Varg Vistarak’.

Mukesh Vasani (arrested), involved in Ajmer Sharif Dargah blasts. He was an ‘activist of RSS’ in Godhra.

Devendra Gupta (arrested), involved in Mecca Masjid blasts, was an ‘RSS pracharak’ in Mhow and Indore.

Chandrasekhar Leve (arrested), involved in Mecca Masjid blasts, was an ‘RSS pracharak’ in Shajhanpur in 2007.

Kamal Chouhan (arrested), involved in Samjhauta and Mecca Masjid explosions, was an ‘RSS activist’.

Ram Chandra Kalsangra alias Ramji (absconding), involved in Samjhauta Express and Mecca Masjid blasts, was an ‘RSS associate’

Swami Aseemananda in his confession statement before a magistrate, has said, “Indreshji (Senior RSS leader) met me at Shabri Dham (Aseemanand’s ashram in the Dangs district of Gujarat) sometime in 2005.” “He was accompanied by many top RSS functionaries. He told me that exploding bombs was not my job and instead told me to focus on the tribal welfare work assigned to me by the RSS. Indreshji said he had deputed Sunil Joshi for this job (terror attacks) and he would extend Joshi whatever help was required.”

Aseemanand further narrated how Indreshji financed Joshi for his terror activities and provided him with men to plant bombs. Aseemanand also confessed to his own role in the terror plots and how he had motivated a bunch of RSS pracharaks and other Hindutva radicals to carry out terror strikes at Malegaon, Hyderabad and Ajmer.

The Rajasthan Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has named Indresh Kumar as having provided “guidance” for the conspiracy.

Arrested Army officer Lt Col Prasad Purohit has told the CBI that VHP general secretary Pravin Togadia was involved in the formation and funding of Abhinav Bharat, the radical Hindutva group at the centre of investigations into the 29 September Malegaon blast.

The officer has also said that Swami Aseemanand of Dangs had told him that Sunil Joshi — the man to whom Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur sold her motorcycle that was used in the Malegaon blast— was also involved in the Ajmer Sharif shrine bombing of 11 October 2007.

Sunil Joshi, whom Swami Aseemanand described to Purohit as “apna banda” (our man), was murdered in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh in the last week of December 2007 perhaps because he was threatening to spill beans.

The CBI interrogated Purohit in connection with its investigations into the 18 May 2007 blast at Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid. The information extracted by CBI included:

• Purohit first met Togadia in February 2006 in Nashik at the home of the local VHP unit head Vinayak. In December that year, he met Togadia in Mumbai and apprised him of the Abhinav Bharat concept. In March-April 2007, Togadia told Purohit over the phone the names of donors to the trust. In August-September, 2007, Togadia gave him Rs 2 lakh, which were subsequently passed on to Abhinav Bharat’s Samir Kulkarni. On August 2, 2008, Togadia severely reprimanded Purohit for breaking up the VHP’s Madhya Pradesh unit.

• On 2 February 2008, Shyam Apte gave Rs 2 lakh to Purohit, and orders to kill Indresh. Purohit passed on the money to another activist, Rakesh Dhawade, who gave him the weapon for Rs 50,000. This weapon was given to Alok. Dhawade, Purohit said, claimed to have trained the RSS cadres who died in the Nanded blast. Purohit had given Dhawade Rs 3.2 lakh the month before, to buy another four weapons.

Before his Jaipur statement, Mr Shinde, while releasing monthly report of Home Ministry, told the media on 11 January, that four persons (namely Rajender Chaudhary, Manohar Singh, Dhan Singh and Tej Ram) arrested last month by NIA were involved in incidents of bomb blast at Malegaon in 2006, Samjhauta Express in February 2007, Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad in May 2007 and in Malegaon in September 2008.

“During interrogation, the accused persons have admitted to their roles in three undetected sensational old crimes namely shooting and injuring a lady nun (Leena) in Narwar police station of Ujjain (MP), throwing of grenades at a mosque in Jammu on January 9, 2004 in which two persons had died and 15 others were injured, firing at SAR Geelani (acquitted in Parliament attack case) in New Delhi in February 2005, killing of Muzeeb Lala, a Pathan in Ujjain (MP) and killing of Ramesh Ninama (a key witness in the murder case of Pyar Singh Ninama of Indore),” Shinde said. All four arrested accused are the workers of RSS.

These are only a few leafs from the reports, running into hundreds of pages, based on official disclosures, supporting the role of activists related to Sangh Privar, involvement in terror attacks.

Just within one month, taking U-turn, Mr. Shinde said, “My statement given in Jaipur last month has created a misunderstanding. It has been understood to mean that I was linking terrorism to a particular religion and was accusing certain political organisations of being involved in organising terror camps…. I had no intention to link terror to any religion. There is no basis for suggesting that terror can be linked to organisations mentioned in my brief speech in Jaipur,” he added.

Yes, it is wrong to associate terror with any religion of colour, saffron or green, but in the presence of so many evidences, how can he absolve module comprising Sangh activists, supported by senior leaders like Indresh Kumar and Praveen Togadia?

Remember Union Home Minister’s pledge to the nation, “We will have to think about it seriously and will have to remain alert,” but now he instead of taking the investigation further ahead from the point where Hemant Karkare had left, against Mr. Indresh and Praveen Togadia, he has taken a U-turn and gladly expressed regrets for his “Hindutva terror” remarks. All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM), rightly pointed out that Union Home Minister’s eating humble pie at the behest of his party bosses and BJP leaders is a sad commentary on his commitment to fight terror.

Certainly, Mr. Shinde’s statement flies in the face of facts contained in the charge sheets of Malegaon and Ajmer blast cases, Aseemanand’s confession and the disclosures made by his predecessor in police chiefs’ conference last year that Hindutva terrorists are suspected in 16 blast cases and that their involvement in four of them has been proved.

It may be noted that when Pragya Singh Thakur, a former ABVP activist and Hindutva proponent, was arrested, BJP leadership was infuriated. Party president met her in the Jail to express his party’s solidarity with her and leader of the party regularly greeted her in court rooms. Party leaders led by L.K. Advani registered their protest with the P.M. in a meeting.  They also have been sympathetic to Amit Shah, a former minister of Modi Cabinet, who was alleged to be instrumental in fake encounters of Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bee and Prajapati. They also made a roar at the arrest of killers of Ishrat Jahan and others in fake encounter. Sins of Modi are all evident but he is being propelled for the top post of P.M.

In these circumstances, how one can give clean chit to BJP, RSS and other fringe organisations affiliated to the ideology of “Hindutva”! Leaders and cadres of the Sangh Parivar individually and collectively endorse the idea of using terror tool to achieve their ideal of “Hindu Rashtra”.

What does this clean chit given by our Union Home Minister show? What is his stand on clandestine terror involving “Hindutva” terror modules?

Interestingly, BJP leaders do not say that the accused related to Sangh are innocent. They say exposing them helps Pakistan and other hostile countries. Their reaction on Shinde “regrets”, which finds him pats from Rajnath Singh and others, is quite interesting.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said the main opposition party fairly believes that the statement made by Shinde was not incidental, but made with intent and desire. “A disturbing fact remains that his statement has given reasons for a hostile country like Pakistan to take a ground that look here is a Home Minister who himself claims in India that political parties indulge in terror, giving hand and an upper hand to terrorists like Hafiz Saeed is a matter of deep concern,” said Rudy.

What a vision of justice! Do not touch those who really did the sin, blame the minority and their co-religion States?

Shinde may have acted under the advice of party leadership. Do such people have moral right to rule the country? To buy peace with opposition, he compromised and has fallen from the crest of the ebb.

[syyedagha@hotmail.com]



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