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By Bharti Jain, TNN | New Delhi | Feb 27, 2013 :: Maharashtra government has initiated proceedings to ban Abhinav Bharat, the radical Hindutva outfit accused of launching bomb attacks at Mecca Masjid, Malegaon,Samjhauta Express and Ajmer Sharief.
Sources in the home ministry here told TOI that the Maharashtra government has referred the file — seeking to ban Abhinav Bharat — to the Centre for its views. The Centre has forwarded the file to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is looking into many cases of terror allegedly involving Abhinav Bharat, for its comments. State government will take the call on outlawing Abhinav Bharat — not to be confused with a prominent NGO that bears a similar moniker — under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) after getting inputs from the Centre.
The move comes just as the storm raised by Sushilkumar Shinde’s remarks linking BJP and RSS to saffron terror seemed to be settling down following the “regret” expressed by the Union home minister.
Abhinav Bharat has been at the centre of the war of words between BJP and Sangh Parivar on the one hand and their detractors and government on the other. Government and opponents of BJP have cited the presence of alleged members of RSS in the ranks of the group and their alleged involvement in acts of terrorism to dub the Sangh Parivar as equivalent of jehadi outfits. Many of those arrested had remained closely involved with the RSS.
BJP and Sangh Parivar have strongly refuted the charge, saying that Abhinav Bharat was the brainchild of those, who insisted on a tit-for-tat response to a spate of jehadi terror attacks and who found RSS’s approach pusillanimous and coward.
That during their initial interrogation some of the leading lights of the group allegedly admitted to have plotted to kill RSS chief underlines why both sides have been able to stick to their narratives around the Hindutva terror outfit.
Both the Centre and state have power to ban an outfit under UAPA. With Abhinav Bharat operating mainly out of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the former, a Congress-ruled state, has taken the lead in starting the legal proceedings for indulging in terror activities.
The terror origins of Abhinav Bharat, a closed group of Hindu radicals who believed in “bomb-for-a-bomb” ideology to counter jehadi terror attacks, can be traced back to 2006, with the blasts atMalegaon the same year being the first big attack by extremists owing allegiance to the outfit. Swami Aseemanand, Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan, Sunil Joshi (now dead) and Rajendra Choudhary are some of the Abhinav Bharat leaders already arrested for their role in various blasts, including the 2007 Samjhauta train blasts and Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharief explosions.
Others accused still absconding include Sandeep Dange, Ramchandra Kalsangra and Ashwini Chauhan.
Himani Savarkar, daughter-in-law of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar’s brother and niece of Nathuram Godse, assassin of Gandhiji, is also said to be associated with Abhinav Bharat.
Abhinav Bharat members actively raised funds from “sympathizers” for its terror activities and allegedly imparted arms training to those interested in its extremist ideology. According to the charge sheet filed by Mumbai ATS in the Malegaon blasts case, members of Abhinav Bharat held meetings through 2007 and 2008 at various places such as Ahmedabad, Ujjain, Faridabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Jabalpur, Indore, Pune and Nashik. Purohit met the other accused during the various meetings in these cities. At every place, he would assign them a task related to an attack.
The big breakthrough for Abhinav Bharat came with the 2007 blasts aboard the Samjhauta Express. Bombs placed on the Pakistan-bound train had killed 68 passengers, most of them Pakistanis. Though investigators initially suspected jehadi outfits from across the border, the arrest of Swami Aseemanand in 2010 and his subsequent confession blew the lid on the involvement of saffron terror outfits. eCourtesy: TOI.
Mumbai | 27 February 2013 | News Bharti:: Pointing out that there is not even any tangent evidence brought on record by the prosecution which could attract even slightest culpability on Sadhvi Pragya Singh in the Malegaon Blast case, Senior Counsel Mahesh Jethmalani has challenged any further detention of her in the judicial custody.
Senior Counsel Mahesh Jethmalani contended that though under the MCOC, the ‘bail’ is an exception, if the innocence of the accused is beyond the reasonable doubt, then there was no impediment in releasing her on bail at all.
Further detention of Sadhvi Pragya would be contrary to the verdict delivered by the Supreme Court of India in Ranjeet Sharma’s case way back in 2005 and so also in the case of State of Kerala V/s. Raneef delivered by Justice Markendaya Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra, pleads Jethmalani.
Jethmalani has claimed total innocence of his client Sadhvi Pragya Singh before Justice R. C. Chavan of Bombay High Court by contending that the very remand report dated 28 December, 2012 filed by the NIA before Special NIA Court while seeking the further custody of Dhansingh Chaudhary had ‘explicitly stated’ that the two wheeler in question that was used for carrying out the explosions at Malegaon in 2008 was brought by him and his associates at the instance of absconding Ramji Kalsangrah and Sandeep Dange from Indore to Malegaon.
If this is so, then very foundation of the prosecution that Sadhwi had provided her LML Freedom two wheeler to carry out the blast on the basis of which she came to be arrested way back in October, 2008 gets shackled, said Jethmalani.
Reiterating that as Sadhwi had sold her two wheeler way back in October, 2004 to her acquaintance Sunil Joshi, she had no reason to have any kind control over the movements of the vehicle. As it was in use and possession of Ramji Kalsangrah, going by the very remand report produced by the ATS before Nasik Court on 03.11.2008, witness statement of Sadhvi’s disciple from Indore.
However, the very confessional statement of Sudhkar Dwivedi alias Swami Amrutanand Teerth alias Shankaracharya recorded before the Addl. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mumbai even if taken at the face value, which was subsequently retracted by him, shows that Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit and Ramji Kalsangrah were knowing each other, before two met in his presence at Ujjain’s Mahakali temple on 3 August, 2008 and hence prosecution story that she had introduced these two men to Shankaracharya Indore Circuit House on or about 1st July, 2008 does not hold water.
PROTEST. PROTEST. PROTEST.
Today Abhinav Bharat, Tomorrow VHP, HJS and all the Hindu Orgs.
O HINDUS!! FORGET BANNERS. PLZ COME TOGETHER ONCE IN DELHI BOAT CLUB IN 25 LAKHS WITHIN THIS YEAR . SHOW YOUR MIGHT TO GET YOUR RIGHT.