Hindutva targeted Samjhota Express

AFTER 44 months of dilly dallying, India has officially admitted that the Hindutva brigade of the extremist group Abhinav Bharat, of which Indian Army’s serving officer, Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit was an active member, was responsible for the bombings on board the Pakistan bound Samjhota Express and the Jamia Masjid in New Delhi. Over 60 Pakistanis died in the Samjhota Express blast on February 19, 2007, while 13 people were wounded in the blasts inside the Jamia Masjid on April 14, 2006. The official Indian admission comes through the report investigated and compiled by the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad (RATS)’ 806-page charge-sheet which confirms that these two were on the hit list of Hindutva terrorists involved in Ajmer Sharif, Malegaon and the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad. The five targets were apparently chosen at a marathon meeting in Gujarat by the group comprising Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Swami Asimanand, Ramji Kalsangre, Sandeep Dange and Sunil Joshi, the charge sheet says. Lieutenant Colonel Purohit was allegedly the leader of this group although RATS is deliberately shrouding his name.

From February 11 to 13 in 2006, Swami Asimanand organized a Shabri Kumbh at his Shabri Dham in Gujarat. All the hard line Hindu activists like Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Sunil Joshi, Ramji Kalsangre, Lokesh Sharma and Sandeep Dange took part in the meeting and discussed avenging the terror attacks at the Akshardham temple in Gujarat in 2002 and other Hindu religious shrines. They drew up a list of five targets — Samjhota Express, Mecca Masjid, Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif and Jamia Masjid. A source said Lokesh Sharma, the man who did a recce of Ajmer Sharif, confirmed this meeting after his arrest. The bombs used in the Samjhota Express are believed to have been assembled in Indore. But the suspected bomber, Sunil Joshi, was found mysteriously murdered in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, on December 27, 2007. RATS has also named a senior RSS leader in the charge-sheet in connection with the 2007 Ajmer blast in Rajasthan, a development that could have far-reaching ramifications. According to the 806-page charge-sheet Indresh Kumar, the RSS leader, was present at a secret meeting, along with six other functionaries of the saffron outfit, at a Gujarati guest house in Jaipur on October 31, 2005.

The RATS report is a vindication of the Daily Mail’s findings, which had concluded the complicity of the Hindu extremist group Abhinav Bharat, Indian Army officers of the ilk of Lieutenant Colonel Purohit, who actually supplied the explosive material, military-grade explosive RDX, and other Hindu radicals, who had plotted and executed the heinous crimes against humanity as part of their campaign of ethnic cleansing of Muslims. Purohit and retired army Major Samir Kulkarniand also helped train the alleged bombers. India has been officially denying any link of Hindu extremists with the mayhem, death and carnage resulting from the blasts and instead tried to palm off the culpability of the heinous crime on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

In November 2008, when the Anti Terrorist Squad of Mumbai had arrested Lieutenant Colonel Purohit for his responsibility in the bombings, the BJP denounced the ATS as traitors. The BJP had suggested that, under pressure from the government, it was targeting Hindu holy people and other Hindus, demanded that it immediately provide proof against the accused or let them go, and trumpeted claims by Purohit and his associates that the police have tortured them. Bal Thackeray, the supremo of the Shiv Sena, a longtime ally of the BJP, had forthrightly accused the ATS of framing the Malegaon bombing accused. But he also said that if they did orchestrate the bombings, they should be defended because such murderous attacks on Muslims are justified.

BJP Chief Minister a.k.a as “The Butcher of Gujarat”, Narendra Modi, accused the Indian Congress of maligning the military by imputing that it is involved in terrorist activities. “What Pakistan was not able to do in the last 20 years,” declared Modi, “the Manmohan Singh government has achieved in just 20 days. They have succeeded in branding our soldiers as terrorists.” That is another story that Haimant Karkare, the head of the Mumbai ATS had been assassinated by Indian commandos in the garb of fighting terrorists during the November 26, 2008 Mumbai attacks and blamed on Pakistan – Dailymailnews