Archives for posts with tag: Sunil Joshi
Moinuddin Chishti Dargah in Ajmer, India

Image via Wikipedia

Jaipur, Oct 23 (IANS):  A senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader was present when the conspiracy to carry out a blast at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer was hatched, according to the charge-sheet filed in the case.

However, the RSS leader Indresh Kumar has not been named as accused in the charge-sheet filed by the Rajasthan Police’s Anti-Terrorist Squad in an Ajmer court Friday.

Holding supporters of radical Hindu group Abhinav Bharat responsible for the Oct 11, 2007 blast, in which three people were killed and 30 injured, the ATS has charged Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Chander Shekhar Lave, Sandeep Dange and Ramji Kalsangre with murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, harming or defiling place of worship and other crimes.

Gupta, Sharma and Lave are in judicial custody while Dange and Kalsangre are absconding.

Another accused, Sunil Joshi, died during the course of investigation.

The 806-page charge sheet says that the conspiracy for the bomb blast was hatched during a meeting held in room number 26 of Gujarati Samaj Guesthouse situated near MI Road in Jaipur Oct 21, 2005. The accused had checked in under false names.

According to the charge sheet, Indresh Kumar was present at the secret meeting in which six other functionaries of the outfit were also present.

‘Indresh suggested that they attach themselves to some religious organisation so that they can pass themselves off as pilgrims,’ the charge-sheet says.

Swami Asinanand of Abhinav Bharat Sangthan and Sadhvi Pragya of Jai Vande Matram Sangthan were also present in the meeting where not only was the conspiracy hatched but different tasks were also assigned to some of the conspirators, the ATS said.

‘Indresh has so far not been made an accused in the case as further investigation are required, but he seems to be a conspirator,’ a source in the ATS said.

According to the ATS, the bombs were made in Indore and the area where the bombs were to be planted were identified in a meeting held in Dang area of Gujarat between Feb 11 and 13, 2007.

Advertisements

The arrest of right-wing militants in connection with the blast in Ajmer Dargah isn’t surprising and is just another in the series of arrests of members of organisations ranging from Abhinav Bharat to Sanatan Sanstha who have committed a series of bombings in India from Malegaon to Goa.

Headlines in prominent newspapers and leading English channels read like ‘Abhinav Bharat man caught’, ‘Ajmer blast suspects linked to Hindu groups’ or ‘Ajmer blast: Hindu group responsible’.

There is no mention of ‘terrorism’ and suddenly words like suspects and ‘organisation member’ are back in journalistic lingo. Just a recent example because public memory is short:

Bettig mafia responsible for blast in Bagalore stadium during IPL!

During the Indian Premier League (IPL), bombs exploded in the stadium in Bangalore. Soon after, journalists who crave for breakthroughs and first page bylines, were mouthing names of persons involved in the blasts. There were reports that security agencies don’t deny the role of particular persons.

A few days passed and the everybody has forgotte it. Now it seems that it was local betting mafia that was involved in planting bombs in the stadium, and we no longer read any follow-ups or any sort of news. So did it make it less serious if underworld or betting mafia is involved?

The classic case was in Assam where major bomb strikes in which dozens died were ignored when ULFA was involved but once minor blasts occurred and a news agency suspected ‘Islamists’ angle’, it was suddenly prime time news and got repeatedly termed as terrorist attacks.

Just a day ago the Bangladesh government has handed DR Nabla alias Ranjan Daimary, the chief of the militant NDFB, that was involved in serial bombings in Assam in 2008 that caused over a 100 deaths. But the arrest didn’t make big news despite the fact that a terrorist mastermind was caught.

Ironically media perceptions force police and investigative agencies to hurry up in investigations and they throw up names to evade intrusive journos by saying that such group’s involvement is not ruled out. The casualty is truth.

Apart from inefficiency and political reasons, often the cases are not cracked because of these reasons. It’s a fact that had there been a BJP government in Maharashtra, Goa or Rajasthan, the activists of Sanatan Sanstha or Abhinav Bharat may never have been arrested.

Upright officers, political will needed

Though Himanshu Panse’s role in blasts in Marathwada had alerted security agencies, the investigation was closed. Firstly, some officers were soft on the group while others apparently didn’t want to get into controversy. It took an officer of the calibre of Hemant Karkare to unravel this network.

Even in cases of blasts where there was a clear stamp of right-wing radicals, Muslim youths were arrested and put for months in illegal detentions. In Hyderabad, those protesting police action were fired at and many were killed.

The fact is that whether it is Hindutva-inspired fanatic or the Islamist militant, they are equally dangerous for the country. Terrorism and crime should be seen purely as a threat to the nation and not from the prism of religion.

Sadly, this doesn’t happen. When some youths from Azamgarh were arrested, the entire district was demonised. When youths from a particular Muslims-dominated town were arrested, the name of the town ‘Bhatkal‘ was added to their names though it was not their surname.

The aim was to defame the town. It was part of a strategy. Shouldn’t Indore be also termed haven of Hindutva-wadis in India. This peaceful town in Central India has been linked to almost all the major cases of bomb blasts.

Should towns be defamed: Is Indore Hindutva-wadi’s Azamgarh?

Either its Malegaon blast, Mecca Masjid or Ajmer terror strike, the accused are being arrested from Indore. The planning was done here. Even investigation trail in Samjhauta Express case has reached Indore. And the most wanted man, Ramji Kalsangra, whose arrest can unravel the entire group, also hails from here.

It is not that MP police were not aware of Sunil Joshi’s shadowy organisation that was based in Indore. It was also aware of Samir Kulkarni’s Abhinav Bharat that was functioning from MP. But the state police didn’t act then even though local Hindi papers printed tonnes of material.

Kulkarni’s role in planting bombs at Bhopal’s major Islamic gathering of tablighi jamaat that attracts 1 million Muslims was also known but police under BJP rule didn’t act. It is only when CBI and central investigative agencies reached Indore that the activity began.

The unfortunate aspect is that everything in India either gets politicised or communalised.

Dargah Shareef of Khwaza Moinuddin Chishti Ajm...

Image via Wikipedia

Unfinished stories, goes an old idiom in Ajmer, find their denouement in Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti’s shrine. Perhaps, unfinished investigations do too. Two-and-a-half years after low-intensity blasts ripped apart the courtyard of the centuries-old shrine, the Rajasthan police arrested three men—Devendra Gupta, Vishnu Prasad and Chandrashekhar Patidar. Gupta, an RSS worker, was suspected to have bought the mobile phone and SIM card that triggered off the October 2007 blast in which three were killed. Till their arrest on April 30 this year, the story narrated by the investigators, lapped up by the establishment and reiterated in large sections of the media was that the Ajmer blast was the handiwork of jehadi terrorists.

The one troubling question—would jehadis target Muslim devout at a dargah?—can have complicated answers, as the body count at Lahore’s Data Ganj Baksh would testify. But in India, the question wasn’t even deemed worthy of being asked as a reasonable line of inquiry. The needle of suspicion remained firmly and automatically fixed on Islamic terrorists—young men from the community were detained at various stages of the investigation and interrogated at length—until the trail finally led to Gupta and pointed to radical Hindu nationalist groups instead. Says Rajasthan Anti-Terrorist Squad chief Kapil Garg: “We have arrested some people of that religion (Hinduism) and we’re dead sure we’re on the right track.”

Malegaon Blasts-I
September 8, 2006
37 dead

 

  • Initial arrests: Arrested include Salman Farsi, Farooq Iqbal Makhdoomi, Raees Ahmed, Noorul Huda Samsudoha and Shabbir Batterywala.
  • Later revelation: Suspicion now rests on Hindu terrorists because of the 2008 blasts.

 

Samjhauta Express Blasts
February 18, 2007
68 dead, mostly Pakistanis

 

  • Initial suspicion: LeT and JeM were blamed. Those arrested included Pakistani national Azmat Ali.
  • Later revelation: Police have seen the evidence trail lead to right-wing Hindu activists. Investigators claim the triggering mechanism for the Mecca masjid blast three months later was similar to the one used here. Police are looking for RSS pracharaks Sandeep Dange and Ramji.

Mecca Masjid Blast
May 18, 2007
14 dead

  • Initial arrests: Around 80 Muslims detained for questioning and 25 arrested. Several have now been acquitted, including Ibrahim Junaid, Shoaib Jagirdar, Imran Khan and Mohammed Adul Kaleem.
  • Later revelation: In June 2010 the CBI announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh for information on the two accused, Sandeep Dange and Ramchandra Kalsangra. Lokesh Sharma arrested.

Ajmer Sharif Blast
October 11, 2007
3 dead

  • Initial arrests: HuJI, LeT blamed. Those arrested include  Abdul Hafiz Shamim, Khushibur Rahman, Imran Ali.
  • Later revelation: In 2010, Rajasthan ATS arrests Devendra Gupta, Chandrashekhar and Vishnu Prasad Patidar. Accused Sunil Joshi, who was killed weeks before the blast, is believed to have been a key planner.

Thane Cinema Blast
June 4, 2008

  • Affiliated to Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and Sanathan Sanstha,  Ramesh Hanumant Gadkari and Mangesh Dinkar Nikam arrested. Blast planned to oppose the screening of Jodhaa Akbar.

Kanpur And Nanded Bomb Mishaps
August 2008

  • Two members of Bajrang Dal—Rajiv Mishra and Bhupinder Singh—were killed while assembling bombs in Kanpur. In April 2006, N. Rajkondwar and H. Panse from the same outfit died under similar circumstances in a bomb-making workshop in Nanded.

Malegaon Blasts II
September 29, 2008
7 dead

  • Initial suspicion: Groups like Indian Mujahideen involved
  • Later revelation: Abhinav Bharat and Rashtriya Jagaran Manch accused of involvement. Arrested include Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Srikant Purohit and Swami Amritanand Dev Tirth, also known as Dayanand Pandey.

Goa Blasts
October 16, 2009

  • 2 dead Both accused are members of the Sanathan Sanstha. Malgonda Patil and Yogesh Naik were riding a scooter laden with explosives, which accidentally went off.

Terror trails in India dramatically changed with the Malegaon blasts investigation in September-October 2008. Led by then Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who was subsequently killed on the night of 26/11, the investigation pointed to Abhinav Bharat (AB), an ultra-right-wing Pune-based organisation established in 2005-06, and its members or affiliates. What Karkare’s teams managed to uncover is part of recent history and should have become the basis of examining and monitoring the new phenomenon of Hindutva terror but didn’t.

The Hindutva links to Mecca Masjid, Ajmer and other low-intensity blasts have been in the public domain for close to two years; the signs were visible since 2002-03 when an ied found at the Bhopal railway station was traced back to local Hindutva activists Ramnarayan Kalsangra and Sunil Joshi. They were questioned, but no evidence was found. Yet, it prompted Congress leader Digvijay Singh to declare a Bajrang Dal hand. Later in 2006, there were explosions in the houses of Hindutva activists in Nanded and Kanpur, where ieds were being prepared. Through that year, mosques in several towns in Maharashtra—Purna, Parbhani, Jalna—were rocked by low-intensity blasts; the Nanded one was meant for a mosque in Aurangabad. Recovered with a map of Aurangabad were false beards and Muslim male outfits. That should have been warning enough.

However, till May-June this year, the establishment did not either see these warning signals or chose to ignore them—except for a brief two-month period in 2008 when Karkare led the Malegaon probe. Now, it may be difficult to sustain the denial. “For the last 10 years, stories about Hindu right-wing violence have been trickling out. Instead of a systematic investigation, there has been an event-to-event investigation. The larger story has remained underinvestigated and under-reported,” says Mumbai advocate and human rights campaigner Mihir Desai. The CBI is only now seeking directions from the Union home ministry to see the Ajmer, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and other blasts in conjunction after there has been no conclusive evidence of the involvement of Islamic groups.

The Hindutva links to Mecca Masjid, Ajmer and other low-intensity blasts have been in the public domain for close to two years; the signs were visible since 2002-03 when an ied found at the Bhopal railway station was traced back to local Hindutva activists Ramnarayan Kalsangra and Sunil Joshi. They were questioned, but no evidence was found. Yet, it prompted Congress leader Digvijay Singh to declare a Bajrang Dal hand. Later in 2006, there were explosions in the houses of Hindutva activists in Nanded and Kanpur, where ieds were being prepared. Through that year, mosques in several towns in Maharashtra—Purna, Parbhani, Jalna—were rocked by low-intensity blasts; the Nanded one was meant for a mosque in Aurangabad. Recovered with a map of Aurangabad were false beards and Muslim male outfits. That should have been warning enough.

However, till May-June this year, the establishment did not either see these warning signals or chose to ignore them—except for a brief two-month period in 2008 when Karkare led the Malegaon probe. Now, it may be difficult to sustain the denial. “For the last 10 years, stories about Hindu right-wing violence have been trickling out. Instead of a systematic investigation, there has been an event-to-event investigation. The larger story has remained underinvestigated and under-reported,” says Mumbai advocate and human rights campaigner Mihir Desai. The CBI is only now seeking directions from the Union home ministry to see the Ajmer, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and other blasts in conjunction after there has been no conclusive evidence of the involvement of Islamic groups.

The Hindutva links to Mecca Masjid, Ajmer and other low-intensity blasts have been in the public domain for close to two years; the signs were visible since 2002-03 when an ied found at the Bhopal railway station was traced back to local Hindutva activists Ramnarayan Kalsangra and Sunil Joshi. They were questioned, but no evidence was found. Yet, it prompted Congress leader Digvijay Singh to declare a Bajrang Dal hand. Later in 2006, there were explosions in the houses of Hindutva activists in Nanded and Kanpur, where ieds were being prepared. Through that year, mosques in several towns in Maharashtra—Purna, Parbhani, Jalna—were rocked by low-intensity blasts; the Nanded one was meant for a mosque in Aurangabad. Recovered with a map of Aurangabad were false beards and Muslim male outfits. That should have been warning enough.

However, till May-June this year, the establishment did not either see these warning signals or chose to ignore them—except for a brief two-month period in 2008 when Karkare led the Malegaon probe. Now, it may be difficult to sustain the denial. “For the last 10 years, stories about Hindu right-wing violence have been trickling out. Instead of a systematic investigation, there has been an event-to-event investigation. The larger story has remained underinvestigated and under-reported,” says Mumbai advocate and human rights campaigner Mihir Desai. The CBI is only now seeking directions from the Union home ministry to see the Ajmer, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and other blasts in conjunction after there has been no conclusive evidence of the involvement of Islamic groups.

The Hindutva links to Mecca Masjid, Ajmer and other low-intensity blasts have been in the public domain for close to two years; the signs were visible since 2002-03 when an ied found at the Bhopal railway station was traced back to local Hindutva activists Ramnarayan Kalsangra and Sunil Joshi. They were questioned, but no evidence was found. Yet, it prompted Congress leader Digvijay Singh to declare a Bajrang Dal hand. Later in 2006, there were explosions in the houses of Hindutva activists in Nanded and Kanpur, where ieds were being prepared. Through that year, mosques in several towns in Maharashtra—Purna, Parbhani, Jalna—were rocked by low-intensity blasts; the Nanded one was meant for a mosque in Aurangabad. Recovered with a map of Aurangabad were false beards and Muslim male outfits. That should have been warning enough.

However, till May-June this year, the establishment did not either see these warning signals or chose to ignore them—except for a brief two-month period in 2008 when Karkare led the Malegaon probe. Now, it may be difficult to sustain the denial. “For the last 10 years, stories about Hindu right-wing violence have been trickling out. Instead of a systematic investigation, there has been an event-to-event investigation. The larger story has remained underinvestigated and under-reported,” says Mumbai advocate and human rights campaigner Mihir Desai. The CBI is only now seeking directions from the Union home ministry to see the Ajmer, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon and other blasts in conjunction after there has been no conclusive evidence of the involvement of Islamic groups.

Image via Wikipedia

The home ministry is “aware” of the presence of Hindu terror outfits and is looking into such cases. The Centre has written to the Madhya Pradesh government to transfer the probe involving one long-time former RSS pracharak, Sunil Joshi, who was recently murdered, to the CBI. Joshi is alleged to have planted bombs in 2007 at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and the Ajmer Sharif dargah.

Joshi, who was sacked from the RSS for his radical views, was associated with Abhinav Bharat, an outfit accused of involvement in terror activities. Governm-ent sources said the home ministry is keeping a tab on cases involving extremist Hindu outfits. “The MP government had completed its investigation but we are awaiting the response of the state government to hand over the case to CBI,” an official said.
Meanwhile, as the BJP and the Sangh were trying to prepare their line of defence on the issue of Hindu terror, the Congress on Friday demanded a thorough probe into the RSS terror links. The Congress also asked the BJP to clarify its stand on the issue. AICC spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said, “We call upon the RSS to come clean regarding all links of its senior leaders with terror. We also call on the BJP to make its stand clear on the terror links of the leaders of the RSS.” She said her party was shocked to see media reports alleging RSS terror links.
“While the entire nation is engaged in a crusade against terrorism, what has come to light through such reports is the involvement of senior leaders of the RSS, the parent body of the BJP, with terror groups,” Ms Natarajan said.

PROOF REF – http://www.asianage.com/india/govt-says-aware-hindu-terror-516