India’s farcical Samjhauta Express probe saves
MI – Hindutva links
Probe charge-sheets none of the accused belonging to Indian Army
| Variety of evidences against serving and retired Army officers ignored in probe
| Most talked about accused Col. Purohit Indian Army gets no charges in probe by NIA
| Fair probe did cost ATS Chief Hemant Karkare his life, Digvijay confirms
By Makhdoom Babar
(Additional reporting by Christina Palmer, Ajay Mehta, Kapil Verma & Priyanka Joshi
MIn a desperate bid to wrap the deep rooted links between senior Indian army officers and the radical Hindu extremists groups, the Indian government has got completed a haphazard probe over Samjhauta Express inferno in which none of the accused from the Indian army has been nominated despite the availability of a variety of evidences against them. The four accused that have been charged are Aseemanand, Sunil Joshi (now dead), Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalasangra alias Ramji. However the prime accused, Colonel Srikanth Purohit, a serving officer of the Indian army has not been chargesheetd along with his other accomplices, belonging to the Indian Army.
The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that Indian investigation agencies under instructions of the then National Security Adviser (NSA) N.K. Narayanan deliberately overlooked the known involvement of Indian Military Intelligence(MI) and ultra-right wing Hindu terrorist outfit ‘Abhinav Bharat’ (Dominant India) in a string of terrorist acts, including the Samjhauta Express train blast (February 2007). Pakistani passengers were targeted in the Samjhauta Express that killed 68 persons including 42 Pakistan nationals. The investigations had established Indian Military Intelligence and Hindutva terrorist role but the Indian government placed wraps over the facts as disclosure of this sinister nexus would have exposed its lie to the world.
The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that New Delhi has been portraying itself as a victim of “Pakistan sponsored terrorism,” which is actually the handy work of its own Military Intelligence in connivance with the home-grown Saffron terrorists.
These investigations indicate that witnesses had told the investigators that the RDX used in Samjhauta blasts was supplied by MI officer, Lt. Col Purohit procured by him from the Army Ordinance Depot in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). The investigations further reveal that the sophisticated locking mechanism used by the Indian Army was employed for all these blasts. According to the official Indian sources, the Hindutva terror outfits were trained in making sophisticated Low Intensity Explosive Devices by the Army which are very lethal and effective but require less quantity of explosive material and same were used to trigger inferno in the Samjhauta Express. The same batch of SIM cards used in numerous blasts by Abhinav Bharat pointed to the link up of MI and the Hindutva terrorist outfit. Narayanan who in his capacity as NSA was the overall Chief of IB, RAW and Joint Intelligence Directorate that includes MI, at this point instructed the investigators to hush up the MI-Hindutva connection.
The Daily Mail’s findings further indicate that Samjhauta Express blasts occurred a day before Pakistan’s then foreign Minister Mahmud Kasuri was to arrive in New Delhi for the next round of talks. An important similarity of Samjhauta Express blasts to the Mumbai attacks on 26/11 is that this time Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi was in India for talks. Thus indicating an involvement of Hindu extremist in both the attacks with the purpose to sabotage Pakistan’s Foreign Ministers’ visits and the Pakistan India peace process.
These investigations further suggest that Indian investigating authorities were quick to blame Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. Even as late as February 2009 Indian Intelligence Bureau claimed LeT to be responsible for the Samjoutha blasts although MI-Hindutva connection was well known to New Delhi by that time. Despite a lapse of almost four years not a shred of information has been shared with Pakistan.
Malegoen 2008 blasts put Karkare on MI-Hindutva trail:
The daily mail’s findings indicate that more that one-and-half year after Samjhauta Express blasts another low-intensity bomb with powerful impact exploded in the small town of Malegaon, Maharashtra, on 29 September 2008, leaving six dead and several injured. It was this blast that put Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS)’s slain Chief Hemant Karkare on the trail of self-styled God-woman called Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur belonging to Abhinav Bharat. Pragya’s interrogation and calls’ data from her cell phone opened a Pandora’s Box. Her close associate Shamlal Sahu, 42, a commerce graduate, was first to be arrested on charges of planting the bomb. Shivnarayan Kalangasara Singh, 36, a science graduate, was arrested for setting a timer device in the bomb. Another science graduate, Sameer Kulkarni, 32, was arrested for his role in procuring chemicals for the bomb. The second big catch after Pragya was Maj (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, 64, a resident of Pune. He had worked in the Indian Army’s Military Intelligence (MI) and had imparted training to those who had assembled the bombs planted in Malegoen. He had also headed the BJP’s ex-servicemen’s cell in Mumbai. The biggest fish was however, netted by Karkare on November 5, merely days ahead of 26/11 Mumbai attack, the first ever serving army officer, Lt. Col Purohit, belonging to MI, was arrested for procuring the RDX used in the blast. Arrest of Purohit however, proved more than Karkare could handle for he was later assassinated by Hindutva terrorists under the cover of Mumbai attack on 26/11. Congress Party’s Senior Secretary General Digvijay Singh has proved beyond doubt by showing phone records that Karkare called him merely a few hours before being assassinated saying he feared for his life as he was being threatened of dire consequences if he did not stop probe into the terrorist activities of MI and Saffron terrorist syndicates. Karkare requested assurance of security and safety for himself and his family requesting Digvijay to talk to the Congress high command. According to Digvijay his first reaction when he heard the news of Karkare’s assassination was “oh my God they (Saffron terrorists) have killed him”
Saffron Terror Tapes exposed MI-Hindutva nexus
The Daily Mail’s findings reveal that Karkare hit a minefield with the arrest of another Saffron operative Swami Dayanand Pandey alias Shankar Acharya-Shukhakar Dwivedi, on 14 November that completely exposed the MI and Abhinav Bharat link. Swami Pandey had a habit of recording all his conversations with his co-conspirators on his laptop. The ATS retrieved three videos and 37 audiotapes. These proved to be an unprecedented source of information. On 21 November, 5-days before 26/11 attack, Karkare questioned Pune’s RSS leader Shyam Apte, named in the tapes. By now RSS and Army were screaming calling Karakare’s line of investigations “blasphemous”.
The Audio tapes revealed a chilling landscape. Political bigwigs, RSS functionaries, Sangh Parivar activists, Hindutva terrorist outfits, as well as serving and retired Indian army officers all formed an integral part of the conspiracy. The tapes spilled vitriolic hate for Pakistan, Muslims and even Hindus who did not subscribe to their ultra right-wing communal vision. The Group had set up Abhinav Bharat with the intention of infiltrating and subverting every institution in the country, particularly the Armed Forces, bureaucracy, media, TV, films and civil society.
The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that there are a total of ten serving and retired Indian army officers, whose names figure in the tapes. There are however, clear indications that the network has deep institutional roots in Indian army from top officers to the low levels of ordinary soldiers. At least four of the officers, named in the recordings have an MI background. Apart from Lt. Col Purohit and Maj Upadhyay, who are now in jail, there are names of General JJ Singh -Purohit’s mentor in Maratha Regiment, Brig Mathur (full name not known, but he was apparently posted at Deolali Cantonment near Nashik); Col Hasmukh Patel. A JNU graduate, Patel was commissioned into the Infantry Jat Regiment and later detailed with the MI. He is a specialist in threat analysis, background checks, physical- electronic-aviation security, vigilance, investigations, disaster management, negotiation and loss prevention. The investigators are understood to have questioned him recently. Col Shailesh Raikar is a retired commandant, who belonged to the Maratha Regiment. According to the recordings, Raikar was commander of the Bhosla Military Academy in Nashik. He provided academy facilities to Purohit and other Abhinav Bharat members for weapons training. Others named in the tapes are Col. Aditya Bappaditya Dhar ; Maj. Nitin Joshi and Maj. Prayag Modak. No concrete action is yet to be initiated by the investigators against them. Apart from these men, there is a Brig. Lajpat Prajwal, posted on deputation with the Nepal Army. According to the tapes, Purohit and Brig Prajwal had trained together at Indian Military Academy (IMA) and that Purohit was in constant touch with him for logistic support.
Although, Lt. Col Purohit has been arrested, Indian Army has still not proceeded against other officers involved or initiated court martial.
Israeli Nexus and Nepal Connection:
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that it has also been revealed that Lt. Col Purohit speaks in the recordings of sending thousands to Israel and Nepal for terrorist training. According to one Maharashtra ATS official “most of what Purohit says on the tapes about sending people to Nepal and Israel for training wasn’t taken seriously, and deliberately overlooked” adding “the entire truth on Purohit is still not out.” These recorded conversations between Lt. Col Purohit, Maj Ramesh Upadhyay, Col Dhar, Swamy Dayanand Pandey, BL Sharma; a two-time BJP MP, and RP Singh; an endocrinologist at Apollo Hospital and President of the World Hindu Federation, reveal diabolic conspiracies and hair raising terrorist activities. The World Hindu Federation also has active offices in US and Europe and collects enormous amounts of funds from the Non Resident Indians (NRIs), using these to promote communal agenda and terrorist activities. The transcript also sheds light on the links between Nepal’s deposed King Gyanendra and Indian Military Intelligence. Gyandendra took over after grisly murder of his brother King Birendra, under mysterious circumstances. Most Nepalese think King Birendra was got assassinated by Gyanendra with the help of Indian agents.
Here is an excerpt on the conversation on Israeli nexus:
LT COL PUROHIT: Swamiji, we haven’t spoken about certain things, but two operations have been done by us. One of our own officers has visited Israel for training and meeting and there was a very positive response… We demanded four things from Israel — continuous and uninterrupted supply of arms and training, our office with a saffron flag in Tel Aviv, political asylum and support for our cause of a Hindu Nation in the UN. Israel has asked us to show something on the ground and have promised at least a supply of arms and political asylum... I have a state-wise population of Muslims in each state but we need more arms and ammunition including AK-47s. We couldn’t buy much earlier because we didn’t have funds, now we have plenty.
MAJ UPADHYAY: AK-47 is available at Cox Bazaar in Gorakhpur, we can buy more from open sources as military weapons and ammunition can draw suspicion…
LT. COL PUROHIT: The Israelis ask us to give them proof of our involvement. What more proof do they need? We have completed two successful operations (investigators believe that Purohit was referring here to Samjhauta and Ajmer blasts).
MAJ UPADHYAY: Don’t forget, the Hyderabad blasts were also executed by our man.
Elsewhere in the tapes, Purohit elaborates on other sinister strategies the Abhinav Bharat group plans on adopting against Pakistan and Muslims — including shooting people under false identities to create mayhem.
“I know that the army and the BSF don’t complement each other’s action,” says Purohit. “Nor there is any coordination between the BSF, CRPF and state police. So if I buy two army vehicles from the scrap and paint them with army colours and send them along with our people in army uniform into Meerut, they can just fire and come out of the situation easily. There is so much confusion in this country.” The conversion betrays similar action taken by the Indian military intelligence when Purohit was posted in IOK. MI operatives and Abhinav Bharat members dressed in Army uniform, had slaughtered Sikh community members in Chattisinghpura, IOK, when former US President Clinton was visiting India in 2001 and blamed it on LeT.
The fact that these conversations were not recorded under police custody or during interrogation is significant. An IB official based in Mumbai has raised a pertinent question that Lt. Col Purohit cannot smuggle RDX and weapons from IOK Army depot on his own nor can he alone sponsor sending men for military training to Nepal and Israel.” Surley a wider involvement of MI is apparent. This question has even more alarming implications when one recalls that in the narco reports of Nanded blasts accused, Himanshu Panse and Sanjay Bhaurao Chaudhury, in 2006, the men clearly stated of how Army’s Col Chitaley alias Mithun Chakrabarty had trained them to make the IEDs for the blasts at the Sinhagad Fort. It may be recalled that Col Chitaley was the Chief Instructor in the Suicide Bombing Training Squad set up by RSS under General Premnath Hoon.
A senior Maharastra ATS Official disclosed that after Lt. Col Purohit’s arrest, there was a lot of pressure on them to downplay the role of the army. Army argued: “We were told we couldn’t lower the morale of officers posted in sensitive positions. It could have a backlash. But with more cases involving military intelligence officials coming out, confirmed a dangerous trend.” The MI is an important and lethal corps, even senior Army officers dread at its mere mention due to the arbitrary powers enjoyed by its personnel. MI especially focuses on destabilizing, conducting and sponsoring terrorist activities in Pakistan, China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Middle East. Many MI cadre officers (Lt. Col Purohit was one of them) do not wear uniforms and work in conjunction with the IB, BSF (‘G’ Force) and other intelligence agencies. MI officials work in field formations and report to their respective commanders. Nobody, except the commander, would know they are part of MI. Sources disclosed that Lt. Col Purohit had learned Arabic at the Army Education Corps Training Centre and College in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh, in order to coordinate with Al-Qaeda and Arab-Afghans. The disclosures of Lt. Col Purohit have exposed the Indian Army’s terrorist and communal overtones.
Swami Aseemanand’s Confession
The Daily Mail’s investigations further reveal that role of Indian MI and Hindutva terrorists behind the spate of terrorist acts including Samjhauta Express blasts, became further clear when investigators arrested Swami Aseemanand, one of the plotters. A Gujarat resident Bharat Bhai had deposed before the court that during various meetings held at Swami Aseemanand’s Ashram (Hindu seminary) numerous terrorist attacks including Samjhauta Express blasts were planned. After the Maharashtra ATS arrested Sadhvi Pragya in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blast, Aseemanand went absconding. He was finally arrested from Haridwar on 19 November 2010.
Swami Aseemanand’s spine chilling confession has reconfirmed and provided strong legal evidence of RSS Pracharaks (proselytizers)’ involvement in the blasts that took place at the Malegoen (Maharastra)in 2006 and 2008, Samjhauta Express in 2007, Ajmer (Rajasthan) in 2007, Mecca Mosque (Hyderabad) in 2007 and Modasa (Gujarat) in 2008.
In his recorded statement Aseemanand exposed involvement of numerous Hindutva leaders, including himself, in planning and executing a string of terror attacks against Pakistanis and Muslims. The account rendered by Aseemanad corroborated with the evidence revealed by the Abhinav Bharat’s other arrested leaders Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Dayanand Pandey, Lt. Col Shrikant Purohit. The 37 audio tapes seized from Swami Pandey’s laptop that featured all these people discussing their terror activities also corroborate with Aseemanand’s confession.
MI-Hindutva nexus reconfirmed:
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that shedding light on the inner workings of the Hindutva terror network, Aseemanand stated in his confession that it was not just an isolated group like the ultra-right wing terrorist organization like Abhinav Bharat that engineered blasts but, shockingly, Indian Military Intelligence and RSS were fully involved in the planning, financing and execution of these terrorist acts. According to Aseemanand, MI’s Lt. Col Purohit and RSS’s national executive member Indresh Kumar handpicked and financed numerous RSS Pracharaks (proselytizers) to carry out terror attacks. Aseemanand told the court that “Indresh Kumar met him at Shabri Dham (Aseemanand’s seminary in the Dangs district of Gujarat) sometime in 2005, accompanied by many top RSS functionaries”. Inderjeet told Aseemanad that he had deputed Sunil Joshi for terror attacks and asked him to extend Joshi whatever help he required.” Aseemanand further narrated how Indresh financed Joshi for his terror activities and provided him 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 (proselytizers) and other Hindu radicals to carry out terror strikes at Malegaon, Hyderabad and Ajmer.
March 2006 Terror Master Covenant:
According to Aseemanad, in March 2006, he and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Sunil Joshi, Bharat Riteshwar alias Bharat Bhai, hatched the diabolic plot of multiple terrorist attacks to target Pakistanis and Muslims. Aseemanand provided financing to Joshi to arrange the necessary logistics for the blasts. In April 2006, Joshi apparently held a hush-hush meeting with the firebrand BJP member parliament Adityanath, infamous for his rabid anti-Muslim speeches. In June 2006, Aseemanand, Riteshwar, Sadhvi Pragya and Joshi again met at Riteshwar’s house in Valsad. The meeting proved to be a chilling one, with far-reaching consequences. Joshi, for the first time, brought four associates with him Dange, Kalsangra, Lokesh Sharma and Ashok alias Amit. Aseemanand suggested that 80 percent of the people of Malegaon were Muslims and the first bomb should be exploded there. He also said that during the Partition, the Nizam of Hyderabad had opted to accede to Pakistan so Hyderabad was also a fair target. He further recommended that since Hindus also throng the Ajmer Sharif Dargah in large numbers we should also explode a bomb in Ajmer which would deter the Hindus from going there. Aseemanand also suggested the Aligarh Muslim University as a terror target. According to Aseemanand everybody agreed to target these places.
Sunil Joshi recommended targeting Samjhauta:
Aseemanand has however, stated in the confession that it was “Sunil Joshi who recommended that it was basically Pakistanis who travel on the Samjhauta Express train that runs between India and Pakistan and therefore it should be attacked as well. Joshi took the responsibility of targeting Samjhauta himself and said that the chemicals required for the blasts would be arranged by Dange.” Aseemanand’s confession goes on in grave detail saying that Joshi constituted three teams to execute the Samjhauta blasts. One team would arrange finance and logistics. The second team would arrange for the explosives. And the third team would plant the bombs. He also said that the members of one team should not know members from the other two teams. So even if one gets arrested the others would remain safe.”
The Daily mail’s investigations reveal that in accordance with the plan on 8 September 2006, at 1.30 pm, four bombs exploded in the communally tense town of Malegaon in Maharashtra. The attack was meticulously planned; the bombs exploded in quick succession. Thirty one Muslims were killed; over 312 were injured. In a swift premeditated action, the Maharashtra ATS arraigned nine Malegaon Muslims. Stringent provisions of the draconian Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) were invoked. Nine Malegaon Muslims were arrested who have been languishing in prison. Even though Aseemanand’s confession proved that the Muslims accused were innocent and had been arrested merely to deflect criticism and create a false perception of Pakistani and Muslim involvement.
According to Aseemanand “in February 2007”, Joshi told him that in the next two days there would be a piece of good news and I should keep a tab on the newspapers. After the Samjhauta Express blasts happened Joshi confirmed that “the blasts were done by his men.” Joshi took more money from Aseemanand to carry out the blasts in Hyderabad.
Mecca Mosque Blasts:
The Daily Mail’s investigations further reveal that Joshi took more money from Aseemanand to conduct blasts in Hyderabad. After the Mecca Mosque blast in Hyderabad Joshi came to Shabri Dham and confirmed to Aseemanad that his team had carried out the blasts. As in the case of the 2006 Malegaon blast, 17 May 2007 was a Friday. At 1.30 pm, as over 4,000 Muslims assembled to offer their Friday prayers at the iconic Mecca Masjid, situated near the Charminar in the old city of Hyderabad, a bomb went off near the ablution place inside the mosque. In keeping with the tradition and standard operating procedure the Hyderabad police launched a mop-up operation against local Muslims.
A few months later, on 11 October 2007, during the month of Ramzan, as Muslim devotees had begun their Iftaar at Ajmer Sharif dargah, a bomb went off near a tree in the compound, killing three people and injuring over a dozen. According to Aseemanand, a couple of days after the Ajmer blast Joshi came to see him. He was accompanied by two men named Raj and Mehul who had also visited Shabri Dham on previous occasions. Joshi claimed his men had perpetrated the blast and he was also present at Ajmer Dargah at the time of the blast. He said that RSS Central Executive member, “Indresh Kumar had provided him two Muslim boys to plant the bomb.” Assemanad, told Joshi that if the Muslim boys get caught, Indresh would get exposed. He also told Joshi that Indresh might get him killed and told him to stay at Shabri Dham. Joshi then told Aseemanand that Raj and Mehul were wanted in the Baroda Best Bakery case (12 Muslims were killed by Hindutva karsewaks in Best Bakery in Gujarat 2002).
Assassination of Sunil Joshi:
The Daily Mail’s investigations further reveal that barely two months later, on 29 December 2007, in a sudden twist, Aseemanand’s fears came true, Sunil Joshi was mysteriously murdered outside his house in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh. His family claimed he had been murdered by his own organization. After her arrest, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur also admitted this. At the end of December 2010 though, acting on fresh leads, the Madhya Pradesh police finally accepted that Joshi had been murdered by his own friends in the RSS. They charged Mayank, Harshad Solanki, Mehul and Mohan from Gujarat, Anand Raj Katare from Indore and Vasudev Parmar from Dewas with Joshi’s murder. It is believed that the real motive behind Joshi’s murder was to silence him. Joshi knew too much about the terror conspiracy between MI and Hindutva terror outfits have patronage of bigwigs like RSS’ Indresh Kumar and his masters were perhaps wary that they might get exposed. Sunil Joshi’s murder suggests a murky and inexplicable factionalism within the sinister grouping. But Joshi was not the only piece in the puzzle. Aseemanand’s confession is powerful because it implicates himself at every juncture and points to a network of Hindutva Pracharaks (proselytizers), who not only participated in the terror plots but were moved around and sheltered by sections of the Sangh Parivar organization while they were on the run. Joshi’s death didn’t mean the end of the horrific terrorist acts as the ultra-Hindutva ideology and organizations that produced him continue to flourish.
Aseemanand’s contact with Abhinav Bharat:
Aseemanand has confessed of coming into contact with the Abhinav Bharat in January 2007 and attending its numerous meetings in which terrorist attacks in India and the region were planned. Aseemanand has confessed to proposing more terror strikes in a meeting of Abhinav Bharat held at Bhopal in April 2008. Sadhvi Pragya, Bharat Riteshwar, Lt. Col Purohit and Dayanand Pandey were also present in the meeting.
Malegoen-II and Modasa:
The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that on 29 September 2008, horror struck again during Ramzan, in the Muslim neighbourhood in Malegaon. A similar bomb blast was triggered almost simultaneously hundreds of miles away in a small town called Modasa in Gujarat. Like in Malegaon, the blast took place in a Muslim colony named Sukka Bazaar, outside a mosque when prayers were being offered. The Malgeaon blast killed seven Muslims, including a three-year-old boy. The Modasa blast resulted in the death of a 15-year-old boy. Several others were injured. It was the 2008 Malegoen blasts that put Karkare on MI-Abhinav Bharat trail.
US and India Double Speak and Double Deception:
Ironically while it was well in the knowledge of Indian authorities that Samjhauta Express blasts were organized by their Military Intelligence with the support of Hindutva terror outfit Abhinav Bharat they misled the US presenting them fake and cooked-up evidences implicating LeT for the crime. In 2009, at the Indian, US Treasury Deparment imposed sanctions on four so called ‘LeT operatives’ Arif Qasimani, Fazeel-a-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammad Al-Peshawari, Mohammad Yahya Mujahd and Nasir Javed for organizing Samjhauta Express blasts alleging that the “designated terrorist provided direct support to Al-Qaida and LeT”. The Indians did not stop their deception of international community at that but prompted US to have the names of the above falsely accused so called LeT operatives on the list of UNSC resolution 1267 Al-Qaida and Taliban Committee’s proscribed list, for carrying out Samjhauta Express blasts. The episode shows how India and the US have been abusing the UNSC resolution 1267 list to sanction falsely implicated persons and organizations for fulfilling their political motives. In such diabolic plots not only did India completely ignored terrorist acts of its own sponsored operatives and organizations but even shifted their blame on LeT, HuJI and others. In its ongoing exposé, WikiLeaks released a cable in which US Ambassador Timothy Roemer wrote that Rahul Gandhi had told him that ultra-Hindu terror was probably a greater threat to national security than Islamist terror. Rahul’s assertion was certainly based on the internal knowledge of involvement of Hindutva outfits in numerous acts of terrorism, for as an important Congress leader, he is privy to sensitive information.
Now in a haphazard investigation, india’s NIA has not chargesheted any of the serving or retired officer of the Indian Army, meaning, giving free chit to carry on with MI-Hindutva nexus in future. The security experts and diplomatic observers believe that India has completed a farcical probe and yet managed to save the army men, but now Delhi will raise pressure on Islamabad to finalize probe into 26/11.
The judicial bias
Aseemanand confessed that it was not Indian Muslims or Pakistanis but a team of RSS Pracharaks (proselytizers) who exploded bombs in Malegaon in 2006 and 2008, on the Samjhauta Express in 2007, in Ajmer Sharif in 2007 and Mecca Masjid in 2007. However, in keeping with their habitual practice, scores of Muslim were wrongly picked up by the Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Haryana Police, in Lt. Collusion with sections of the Intelligence Bureau, and tortured and jailed for these blasts — accentuating the shrill paranoia about a vast and homegrown Islamist terror network. Most of these Muslims are still languishing inside, their youth and future destroyed, their families reduced to penury.
It is a measure of the deep-seated bias that had crept into the Indian justice system that even when deadly blasts went off in the midst of Muslim neighbourhoods and mosques, Muslim boys were still automatically blamed for them. It was beyond anyone’s imagination that Hindutva groups could be behind the inhuman acts.
Over the years, the Indian government including Home and External Affairs Ministries, police, intelligence agencies and media has deliberated created a perception that Pakistan and Muslims are responsible for the terror attacks in their country. Every time there is a blast, under intense pressure from both media and government to show results, instead of going in for methodological investigations to catch the real culprits, the security agencies would routinely round up Muslims and declare Pakistan to be supporting them. A frenzied Indian media is also eager to gulp such distorted and motivated versions to target Pakistan and Muslims. Activities of Hindutva terror outfits like Abhinav Bharat and terror masterminds like Sadhvi Pragya and Military Intelligence’s Lt. Col Purohit are long known to the Indian Security Agencies and even media but these have been deliberately hushed up and condoned as a small and lunatic fringe. In Malagoen blast Muslim youth were arrested by the security agencies in a cover up blaming them of wanting to create riots in Maharashtra.
The most alarming aspect of all this cover up is that it had the blessing of the Congress Indian government although the main accused belonged to the opposition BJP affiliated Sangh Parivar (United Family).
Hindutva terrorists highly educated
A shocking revelation in this regard is that the Hindutva terrorist are not mere rag-tag religious zealots, but highly educated and trained professionals many of them even having degrees from US, UK and Europe. NABA KUMA, alias Swami Aseemanand — was originally from Kamaarpukar village in Hooghly district in West Bengal — the birthplace of Ramakrishna Paramhansa. In 1971, after completing his BSc (honours) from Hooghly, Naba Kumar went to Bardman district to pursue a master’s degree in Physics. Though he was involved with RSS activities from school, it was during his post-graduation years that Naba Kumar became an active RSS member. In 1977, he started working full-time with the RSS-run Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Purulia and Bankura districts. In 1981, his guru Swami Parmanand rechristened him as Swami Aseemanand.
From 1988 to 1993, he served with the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram at Andaman and Nicobar islands. Between 1993 and 1997, he toured across India to deliver sermons on Hindu religion among the tribals. In 1997, he settled down in the Dangs district in Gujarat and started a tribal welfare organisation called Shabri Dham. Aseemanand was known in the area for his rabid anti-minority speeches and his relentless campaign against Christian missionaries.
Aseemanand enjoyed close relations to the RSS leadership. In the past, leaders like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, former RSS chief KS Sudarshan and current chief Mohan Bhagwat have attended religious functions organized by him at Shabri Dham.
Digvijay Singh has on numerous occasions criticized BJP-RSS and their affiliates for being responsible for Samjhauta and other terrorist acts. According to Digvijay RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, Gujarat Chief Minister Mode and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh were regular visitors of the Ashram and attended Shabri Kumbh (reconverted Hindu family) jamboree organized by Aseemanand. The Sabari Kumbh of 2006 was used to finalize plans for blasts. The meeting was attended by Sunil Joshi, Bharat Bhai, Sadhvi Pragya Singh thakur among others. Dig has also stated that one of the Samjhauta blast executors Sunil Joshi was murdered in December 2007 on orders of RSS to cover the tracks. He said that BJP’s Madhya Pradesh government had only arrested foot soldiers in Joshi’s murder where as the conspiracy and elimination orders came from the top level in RSS.
Twists and spins
HATE IS one of the obvious and evident yields of the Hindutva worldview. But few had imagined it could spawn a terror network until investigations into the 2008 Malegaon blast led to a series of startling arrests that included Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Lt Lt. Col Shrikant Purohit of Abhinav Bharat, an ultra-right Hindu group. Since then, the issue of ‘saffron terror’ has entered national discourse as a fractious and heated debate.
A few months back, the issue erupted once again, triggering livid responses across the political spectrum. First, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh claimed that Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare — who had been investigating the Malegaon blast — had called him hours before he died on the fateful night of 26/11, saying he was being threatened by those opposed to his probes. Singh was speaking at the launch of a book by Aziz Burney, controversially titled 26/11 — A RSS Controversy? and both sections of his own party and the BJP were dismayed that his “irresponsible” remarks would play into Pakistan’s hands.
A few days later, In all the furious exchanges that have followed, a crucial issue was overlooked. With the capture of Ajmal Kasab, it is undoubtedly an absurd stretch of imagination to believe 26/11 was engineered by ultra-Hindu groups, but the truth is the ‘saffron terror’ story is indeed far from being a closed book.
It was self-styled God-woman Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s, cell phone call records that proved to be a minefield of information about those involved in the string of terror blasts in India including Samjhauta Express, Malagoen blasts, Mecca Masjid etc.
Purohit during his interrogation, he asserted that his job as an MI spy included interacting with both Hindu and Muslim extremists.
Pragya, however, disclosed that she had met Purohit in Pachmarhi, where Purohit had told her that he had executed two blasts in the past. The ATS officials suspected Purohit was hinting at the Samjhauta Express and Ajmer Sharif blasts, but this was not made public as it would lifted the cover over the Indian farce of misleading the international community of suffering from foreign sponsored terror while its on military intelligence was spawning these terrorist attacks.
Clued in Hemant Karkare pursued the ‘saffron terror’ angle
The Madiya Pradesh Police has finally accepted that Joshi was murdered by his own friends in the RSS. They charged Mayank, Harshad Solanki, Mehul and Mohan from Gujarat, Anand Raj Katare from Indore and Vasudev Parmar from Dewas with Joshi’s murder. While Mehul and Mohan are still on the run, Solanki was brought before the Dewas court last week and confessed to the murder. (Solanki is also an accused in the infamous Best Bakery case, Gujarat 2002.)
The Rajasthan ATS filed a charge-sheet linking RSS’ Indresh to the Ajmer blasts. They said he attended a secret meeting in Jaipur on October 25, 2005 in which the conspiracy for the Ajmer blast was drawn up. The meeting was allegedly attended by Indresh, Pragya Thakur, Sunil Joshi, Ramji Kalsangra, Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma and Sandeep Dange. The chargesheet hinted the same people were responsible for the Samjhauta blast. The chargesheet, however, did not list Indresh as an accused. And Dange and Kalsangra are still on the run.
Malegaon blasts of 2006 and 2008, Ajmer dargah of Khawaja Moinuddin, Mecca masjid Hyderabad have been conducted by Abhinav Bharat representing saffron terrorism,. Col Shrikant Purohit, Pragya Singh Thakur are the main accused. Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare uncovered the link of Hindu terror outfits in all these acts of terrorism and was subsequently killed on 26/11. Same batch of SIM cards was used to trigger Ajmer, malagoen, Mecca mosque, Modasa and Samjotha (?)blasts.
Kuldeep Nayyar called them Hindu Taliban who are connected with bomb blasts in Samjoutha Express Ajmer , Mecca mosque, Malgoen and Goe. He maintains that Karkare was killed by Hindu extremists. The accused include Lokesh Sharma, Sandeep Dange, Sunil Joshi, Ramji Kashinager.
India’s national Investigation Agency (NIA), has been able to establish that Swami Aseemanand a right-wing extremist Hindu leader was involved in the Samjhauta Express blast conducted around mid-night on February 2007 a day before Pakistan’s foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud kasurri was to arrive in New Delhi for talks with his counterpart Pranab Mukherjee. Investigations have revealed shocking nexus between the Indian Military Intelligence (MI) and Hindu terrorist outfits. Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) Chief Hemant Karkare while investigating the 2008 Malegaon mosque blast discovered the sinister linkage of MI and Hindutva outfits in a string of terrorists acts routinely blamed by Indian government including Home and External Affairs ministries, security agencies on LeT or so called Pakistan based terrorists. It was the internal knowledge of hindutva terrorist activities that prompted Rahul Gandhi to confide with US Ambassador in New Delhi Roemer that Hindutva terrorist outfits were a greater threat to the Indian security than LeT as revealed in the Wiki Leaks expose.
The most alarming aspect of all this cover up is that it had the blessing of the Congress Indian government although the main accused belonged to the opposition BJP affiliated Sangh Parivar (United Family).
The network is spread all over Indian and beyond to South Asian countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh.
According to revelations Swami Aseemananad’s Shabri Dham ashram has become a hub of terrorist planning activities. BJP spokesperson Tarun Vijay has called him was the hero of Dang tribal community’s reconversion to Hinduism from Christianity.
Digvijay showed the phone record to prove his conversation with Karkare.
RSS Parcharaks (Propagators) Manoj Kumar and Sunil Joshi were Swami’s close confidants. According to Swami Aseemanad’s confession he financed the numerous blasts including Male gaon and samjhauta .
On 16 December, Swami Aseemanand alias Naba Kumar Sarkar, was produced before a magistrate at Tis Hazari court, New Delhi to record his confession about his involvement in a string of terror attacks. Aseemananad told the magistrate that he wanted to confess without any fear, force, coercion or inducement. The magistrate sent him to judicial custody for two days — away from any police interference or influence to reflect over his decision in case he wanted to change his mind. Aseemanand was reproduced in the court on 18 December 2010, and in accordance with the law the magistrate asked the investigators, prosecutors, CBI sleuths and everybody else except his stenographer to leave his chamber. The testimony was thus recorded without any duress or police pressure with Aseemanand opening his statement by saying “I know I can be sentenced to the death penalty but I still want to make the confession.”
It was the spirited investigation into the 2008 Malegaon blast by Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare that first blew the lid off this broad Hindutva terror conspiracy. Karkare arrested 11 Hindutva radicals, including Lt. Col Purohit, who was attached with the military intelligence unit at Nashik; Dayanand Pandey, a self-styled religious guru who ran an ashram named Sharda Peeth in Jammu and Sadhvi Pragya, an ABVP leader turned into an ascetic, for their role in the 2008 Malegaon blast.
But Karkare’s sudden killing widely believed to be at the hands of Hindutva terrorists in the Mumbai 26/11 attack derailed the saffron terror investigation. The Maharashtra ATS under its new chief KP Raghuvanshi failed to arrest Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange and instead passed them off as minor players in the chargesheet.
The investigation picked up pace again in May 2010 with the arrest of two RSS Pracharaks (proselytizers) — Devendra Gupta and Lokesh Sharma by the Rajasthan ATS which was probing the Ajmer blast case. Gupta was the RSS Vibagh Pracharak of Muzaffarnagar, Bihar. He provided logistical support to Joshi, Kalsangra and Dange and harboured the latter two in RSS offices while they were on the run from agencies. Lokesh Sharma was a RSS worker close to Joshi. He purchased the two Nokia phones that were used to trigger bombs at Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif. Sharma’s interrogation reconfirmed RSS national executive member Indresh Kumar being a key figure in the terror conspiracy, a fact well lnown by Indian agencies for a long time. The joint investigation of the Rajasthan ATS and CBI, also reconfirmed that Lt. Col Purohit, Indresh Kumar, Pragya Singh Thakur, Kalsangra and Dange comprised the core group that held the key to the full terror plot. CBI investigations also revealed that Sunil Joshi was a protégé of RSS’ Indresh and had his approval and logistical support for carrying out terror attacks.
18 February 2007, on the eve of the then Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri’s visit to India to carry forward the peace dialogue, two powerful bombs went off around midnight in two coaches of the cross-border Samjhauta Express, running between Delhi and Lahore. The train had reached Diwana near Panipat, 80 km north of Delhi. The coaches turned into an inferno. The third bomb placed in another coach failed to detonate. Sixty eight people were killed. Dozens were injured.
The peace dialogue received a big setback?
Samjhauta on LeT allegations
Investigation revealed that three suitcases filled with detonators, timers, iron pipes containing explosives and bottles filled with petrol and kerosene had been smuggled into the three coaches. Indian investigating agencies were quick to blame Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Even the US eager to appease the Indians and ever willing to accept all sorts of lies fed to them Indians called the terror attack a joint operation of the LeT and HuJI.
It was the Maharastra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare in course of his investigations of Malagoen II that occurred in September 2008 stumbled upon the nexus of Saffron terror in the string of terrorist acts in India including the Samjhauta Express. According to Karkare’s findings Lt. Col Purohit had procured 60 kg of RDX from Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in 2006 and a part of it was used in the Samjhauta Express blasts. But the ATS subsequently failed to back this claim after Karkare’s assassination by Hindutva terrorists in order to stop him from pursuing the evidences of the nexus between them and MI.
Over the years, the Indian government including Home and External Affairs Ministries, police, intelligence agencies and media has deliberated created a perception that Pakistan and Muslims are responsible for the terror attacks in their country. Every time there is a blast, under intense pressure from both media and government to show results, instead of going in for methodological investigations to catch the real culprits, the security agencies would routinely round up Muslims and declare Pakistan to be supporting them. A frenzied Indian media is also eager to gulp such distorted and motivated versions to target Pakistan and Muslims. Activities of Hindutva terror outfits like Abhinav Bharat and terror masterminds like Sadhvi Pragya and Military Intelligence’s Lt. Col Purohit are long known to the Indian Security Agencies and even media but these have been deliberately hushed up and condoned as a small and lunatic fringe.
Conspiracy hatched to target Pakistan and Muslims: Official sources revealed that the evidence showed that the broad terror conspiracy to target Pakistanis and Muslims and their places of religious worship was hatched around 2001. Three RSS pracharak: Sunil Joshi, Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, under the command of Indresh Kumar, were apparently at the core of this conspiracy. As the three became more audacious in their terror ambitions they started inducting like-minded Hindutva radicals from other states, mainly Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. The new entrants were mostly from the RSS, Bajrang Dal (Monkey God’s Army), Durga Vahini (Sisters of Goddess of scourge) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (Universal Hindu Council), Abhinav Bharat (Dominating India), Jai Vande Matram (Hail the Anthem) and Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (Blissful Abode of Hindu Forest Dwellers) etc. Joshi strictly followed the doctrine of division of work on a ‘need-to-know’ basis, with each member knowing only his part of the job. According to Aseemanand, who ran a Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Dang, he first came in contact with Sunil Joshi in 2003 but it was only in March 2006 that he became actively involved in the terror plot.
Excerpts of Hindutva terror discourse (transcript)
Ideology of Hindu Rashtra - Ram Rajya – Abhinav Bharat: Some excerpts of Lt. Col Purohit’s conversation with his Abhinav Bharat protégés about the nation they dreamed of creating are as follows:
“We must aim for militarization of the organization (Abhinav Bharat). Every member at all levels must have a basic knowledge of weapons. We have partially done it so far. We should indoctrinate them with our ideology. We should establish an academy for ideological indoctrination. At the end of the course, each member will be tested and only those who pass will be finally admitted to the organization. The level of testing is when he will be tried in ‘action’. Then our organization will propagate establishment of Ram Rajyah (mythological kingdom of Hindu God Ram) called Abhinav Bharat (Dominant India). There will be a uniform code of conduct irrespective of any caste. Reporting channels like those in the armed forces will be established. This will ensure the smooth flow of information and passing of orders. An Honour Court Committee will exist at all levels. This will ensure strict adherence to moral and ethical behaviour as decided by the core group by all the members based on our Vedas (Compilation of Hindu Preaching).” Purohit thus presented a completed recipe of a religious-fascist organization.
Plans of Military Takeover in India: An insightful transcript of conversations of Lt. Col Purohit and other army officers about military takeover of India have been revealed are on the tapes a portion of which is reproduced here:
Col Dhar asks: Did you see one of my messages?
LT. COL PUROHIT: Yes... About how this country should be taken over by the army?
COL DHAR: Yes, yes. I have written three lakh (3-hundred thousand) letters... I distributed three lakh letters among the jawans(soldiers)... It is not a political stunt... And I distributed 20,000 maps of Akhand Bharat (Greater India) among the jawans on 26 January (India’s republic day)... It is my humble attempt to sow the seeds (of rebellion).
Despite these alarming ambitions and self-confessed acts of sedition, the role of Indian Army and MI haven’t been probed seriously as yet. Interestingly, one of the major handicaps while interrogating the officers is the Army itself. According to investigators “a MI official was always around monitoring our questioning. In the beginning, in fact, it was difficult to get hold of Lt. Col Purohit because even though we presented a dossier of evidence against him the army insisted it’s their internal matter and they’d look into it themselves,” revealed the investigator.
PANDEY: What if this organization is banned?
APTE: We will give it an international aspect... and a covert name. We have to fight. See, if you aren’t a Hindu, you are my enemy. I will be unsafe if you are alive… Obviously, this was not just empty bragging.
Links with Maoists, North East Secessionist movements and custodial killings: The recorded conversations also show common operations and linkup of MI with Maoists and separatist insurgencies in North East of India. Purohit goes on to talk of Khetomi Sema, a leader of the banned insurgent group, Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland. Purohit says he had saved his life and Sema has issued a letter to all his generals to support Purohit’s cause. “He has promised to give us seven years of logistic support,” Purohit tells Pandey. Purohit’s conversations further reveal that he had full backing of the Indian army machinery to serve Abhinav Bharat. He says he was in the process of indoctrinating like-minded army officers who could serve in Abhinav Bharat. He also admits to catching and killing two Maoists in cold blood in Delhi.
LT. COL PUROHIT: “A police officer helped me buy weapons in Assam. I kept one pistol with me and sent these weapons to Nepal. Our study is on… We will soon start action. We have got a list of top 5-6 Maoist financers. You know one Assam DIG had informed me about two Maoists who had arrived in Delhi to kill me. We caught them at the Vasant Kunj Civic Centre. We kept them in our secret place at Munirka through the night. You know we have encroached upon a property in Munirka that has sewer lid inside the house. We got the information out of them, then killed them and threw them in the gutter.”
Deep infiltration of Abhinav Bharat in Armed Forces: PUROHIT’S conversations also suggest an alarming shared mindset among sections of the army. He tells Pandey, “There was a captain and a major posted in Delhi. I managed to do my work with them over the phone. This work otherwise would have taken more than three months. It happened because I belong to Sangh and he was also from Sangh. I didn’t even know him. He was from UP and he did the work in one day. Tapping such people (with Sangh background) is important.”
Transcript of another chat between them:
PANDEY: I have to attend a programme organised by Deepak Rath, in Orissa on 17 February. This is his personal function. LT. COL PUROHIT: Is it in Bhubaneshwar city? Let me know, I will arrange my Orissa military General Officer Commanding (GOC) to receive you…