Aseemanand links RSS chief to blasts
Swami Aseemanand, who is facing trial in the 2007's Samjhauta Express, Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid (May 2007) and Ajmer Dargah blasts linked to saffron terrorism, has claimed that RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had "sanctioned" the strikes, according to a report in the magazine, The Caravan.
"Mohanji told me that you can work on this," Aseemanand told The Caravan magazine about the series of blasts targetting Muslims.
According to the magazine, Aseemanand revealed about a meeting that allegedly took place, in July 2005.
The Caravan reported: "After an RSS conclave in Surat, senior Sangh leaders including Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar, who is now on the organisation's powerful seven-member national executive council, travelled to a temple in the Dangs, Gujarat, where Aseemanand was living—a two-hour drive. In a tent pitched by a river several kilometres away from the temple, Bhagwat and Kumar met with Aseemanand and his accomplice Sunil Joshi.
"Joshi informed Bhagwat of a plan to bomb several Muslim targets around India. According to Aseemanand, both RSS leaders approved, and Bhagwat told him, 'You can work on this with Sunil. We will not be involved, but if you are doing this, you can consider us to be with you.'"
Aseemanand has been quoted saying, "Then they told me, 'Swamiji, if you do this we will be at ease with it. Nothing wrong will happen then. Criminalisation nahin hoga (It will not be criminalised). If you do it, then people won't say that we did a crime for the sake of committing a crime. It will be connected to the ideology. This is very important for Hindus. Please do this. You have our blessings.'"
RSS has rubbished the report as concocted. "The authenticity of the interview is in serious question. There can be a political conspiracy. We condemn this attempt of bringing back those old false allegations against the RSS leadership," said RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav.
"This has no basis, no evidence. There is a political object to it," said Madhav.
Union Home Minister and Congress senior leader Sushil Kumar Shinde said the matter would be looked into if such a report has surfaced.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), India's premier terrorism investigation body, is probing the blasts and has charge-sheeted Aseemanand but has not named any RSS leader so far.
Swami Aseemanand and Sadhvi Pragya have been charged in the cases.
The Samjhauta Express bombings took place around midnight on Feb 18 in 2007 on the twice-weekly train service connecting Delhi in India with Lahore in Pakistan. Of the 68 fatalities, most were Pakistani civilians.
The Mecca Masjid bombing on May 18, 2007 inside the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad killed 16 people.
The Ajmer Dargah attack of Oct 11, 2007, outside the Dargah (shrine) of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan, had killed three people.
(Posted on 06-02-2014)
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