Expose The Whole Iceberg of Sanghi Terror

No longer can the Sangh Parivar and BJP ever disown its role in terrorism. A former firebrand ABVP leader and so-called ‘sadhvi’, Pragya Singh Thakur, has been arrested for her role in the Malegaon blasts of September 2006 as well as in the more recent Modasa blasts. Subsequently, more sadhus and Sangh-affiliated organisations like the Abhinav Bharat have come under the scanner. Even more ominously, two ex-Army officers are implicated in the blasts, and it has come to light that an institution called the Bhonsala Military School in Nagpur (a branch of the Bhonsala Military Academy in Nashik) has been imparting arms training to the Bajrang Dal. The Maharashtra ATS has indicated that these forces might have had a hand in other blasts too.

The Sangh Parivar and BJP initially disclaimed its links with ‘sadhvi’ and other accused persons from their stable, but later changed their tune. At a conclave of the Sangh Parivar in Panipat, BJP President Rajnath Singh declared that politics and religion were inseparable; that his party would oppose the attempt to “malign” saints and the armed forces; and that the very concept of “Hindu terrorism” was “sheer madness”.

Riots and Blasts: Weapons of Sanghi Terror

It is clear that the BJP itself is playing up the term ‘Hindu terror,’ hoping to erect a saffron shield for the terrorists of the Sangh Parivar and to consolidate Hindu sentiment in their favour. ‘Hindu’ terror is a false and misleading term, however. We should call a spade a spade and give the Malegaon blasts and similar terrorist acts the name they deserve: ‘Sanghi’ terrorism. This brand of terrorism resorts to both communal pogroms and blasts to spread hatred against minorities and whip up communal frenzy. BJP is a direct beneficiary of such Sanghi terrorism. A unique feature of Sanghi terrorism is the fact that its sole purpose is to defame the Muslim community (care was taken to leave tell-tale markers indicating that the bombs were Muslim handiwork). This was intended to whip up atmosphere of fear and hatred against Muslims that would be harvested by the BJP as votes in impending elections.

What were Pragya Thakur’s known activities? Her role in the communal pogrom in Gujarat 2002 is indicated: in fact, she campaigned for the BJP in Surat in 2002 and again in 2007. Her father, defending her, offers proof of some of the noble work she was known for: “Pragya and her organisation Jai Vande Matram would rescue girls who eloped with boys of another community, sometimes bring them back to their parents.” So, like the notorious Babu Bajrangi, Pragya was involved in terrorising, kidnapping and coercing women who had married of their own accord outside their community. Pragya is proof positive of the fact that the same forces who openly indulge in communal pogroms and obscurantism violence against women could in fact be secretly involved in terrorism.

Double Standards

The saffron chorus is that it is inconceivable that a ‘sadhvi’ could be a terrorist. For a minute, imagine if the story were the same – with just one detail changed: replace the ‘sadhvi’ with a ‘maulvi.’ Then imagine the righteous roars that would be voiced by the BJP, demanding blood!

BJP spokesperson Venkaiyya Naidu has reminded us that according to the rule of law, the sadhvi is innocent till proven guilty, and has promised legal aid to the Malegaon accused. Uma Bharti has offered to field the sadhvi as a candidate.

In the Jamia Nagar blasts case, the BJP would not allow teenage boys the benefit of ‘rule of law;’ they castigated the Jamia VC for arranging legal aid, and in UP, Sangh cadre have beaten up lawyers taking up cases of blast-accused. Recently the BJP defended the ABVP cadre in DU who spat on SAR Geelani (exonerated long ago in the Parliament Attack Case but a target for repeated hate attacks) at a seminar. Muslims accused of terrorism, it seems, are guilty even if proven innocent, and are certainly not entitled to the opportunity to prove themselves innocent! To question the conduct of the police or investigative agencies in case a Muslim is arrested amounts to sedition in the Sangh-BJP book; and custodial torture and fake encounters are invested by the Sangh and BJP with a halo of gallantry as long as the victims are Muslim. But the very act of interrogating a sadhvi is termed by them as outrageous evidence of ‘communal bias in terror investigation’.

We consistently hold that torture, dubious methods like narco-analysis, and fake encounters are no substitute for (and are in fact hurdles in the path of) proper probes into acts of terror: whatever be the ideological orientation of the perpetrators.

Communal Bias in Terror Probes

Terror investigations are all too often communally biased: but it is the Muslim minority which is the victim of the bias. The Sangh-BJP Some weeks earlier, VHP leader Togadia declared that “No Hindu can be a terrorist.” It is telling (and deeply disturbing) that Togadia’s sentiment is echoed by the Maharashtra police probing the October 5 riots in Dhule. While seeking remand of one of the (Muslim) riot accused, and defending the Hindu Rakshak Samiti (HRS) which is widely held to have sparked off the riots, the police declared on record that “It is an established fact that Muslims are the masterminds behind all terrorist activities across India.”

‘Innocent Victims’ or ‘Avenging Heroes’?

The BJP and other saffron allies seem to be speaking with a forked tongue: on the one hand, they claim that the charges against the Malegaon blast accused are fabricated and the Sadhvi and co. are innocent; on the other hand, the actions of the latter are being justified as a ‘reaction’ to ‘Muslim terrorism.’ The Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna has hailed Sadhvi Pragya and Purohit as the “pride of the Hindu community” for their “courage to act.” Himani Savarkar, President of the Abhinav Bharat, brazenly declared, “Why can’t we have a blast for a blast?” The Sanghi forces including their political fronts must be told: you can’t have it both ways. Either the Sadhvi and Co. are innocents who have been framed or they are heroes used blasts to avenge the Hindus: you cannot claim both at the same time!

Why Not a Dose of Their Own Medicine?

There is ample proof that the sadhvi has campaigned for the BJP in elections, and has appeared in public gatherings with BJP President Rajnath Singh and MP CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan. Under POTA, as under the Chhattisgarh Special Security Act, those who are associated with or have known the accused can be prosecuted as ‘conspirators.’ Will the BJP tell us why Rajnath and Shivraj should not be prosecuted as ‘conspirators’ according to the principles espoused by the BJP itself? Surely there is more ground to prosecute Rajnath or Chauhan of conspiring with Sanghi terrorists than there is to prosecute Dr.Binayak Sen for links with Maoists?

Suppressed Evidence

Soon after the Malegaon blasts, in nearby Nanded, Bajrang Dal activists were accidentally killed by their own bombs, and investigation had revealed fake beards and ‘Muslim-looking’ clothing in their home. In other parts of Maharashtra and the country – Parbhani, Tenkasi, Kanpur, Faizabad – there have been leads linking saffron forces to bomb blasts. Had these leads been pursued, is it not possible that some subsequent terrorist incidents could have been avoided? The state and ruling establishment is criminally guilty of ignoring these vital leads.

We are everyday asked to believe as gospel whatever is peddled as ‘fact’ by the police via the media in a terror investigation: to question is to be branded ‘anti-national.’ It is worth recalling that on November 26, 2007, less than two months after the Malegaon blasts, Director General of Police P S Pasricha had claimed to have ‘solved’ the case. Several Muslims were arrested and paraded, the names SIMI and Lashkar were bandied about, involvement of Pakistan and training received by the ‘masterminds’ in Pakistan pointed to. The police over the next two years have confidently given us detailed ‘facts’ about how the 8 arrested conceived of and executed the blasts. Those arrested were also linked with the Mumbai train blasts, according to the police. The ATS has prima facie "ruled out the involvement of Hindu fundamentalist groups in the Malegaon blasts" claiming that "RDX is only available to Islamic terrorist outfits." (TOI, 12 September 2006)

Is there any material at all – including RDX – that ex-Army men cannot easily have access to? Is it not possible that it was Bajrang Dal activists after all and not SIMI men who were responsible for the Malegaon blasts of 2006? If so, who will restore freedom, and apologise for character assassination and torture, to those who for the past two years may have been blamed for blasts they did not do?

Most importantly, are we really to believe that the Governments at State and Centre did not know all along about the activities of the Bhonsala Military Academy, and the fact that it was openly holding arms training camps for Bajrang Dal goons from all over the country? Blasts aside, how come such training camps for communal outfits were not deemed illegal and banned even as Bajrang Dal brigades repeatedly conducted anti-Muslim and anti-Christian violence?

The recent revelations in the Malegaon blasts put every ongoing blast investigation under a cloud and a question mark. Clearly, the police suppressed all the trails that led to Sangh outfits and BJP leaders – allowing these terrorists to roam free and contest and campaign in elections – while misleading the nation by framing innocents of a minority community. Is it not all too possible that this is happening in other blast investigations?

The Congress and UPA Government is hoping to let the state machinery ‘leak’ out a tiny part of the truth about the involvement of Sangh outfits in terror, in order to get the upper hand in the elections. But we won’t be satisfied with such scraps. We demand a thoroughgoing investigation into the involvement of Sangh outfits and so-called god-men and god-women, the Army connection, and the BJP in terrorism. And we demand a ban on the Bajrang Dal, VHP and other Sangh outfits against whom there is prima facie evidence of involvement in terrorism and communal violence (including activities like abduction (‘rescue’) of women who have eloped). We cannot allow investigation into this threat to remain prisoner to pragmatic considerations of the Congress and UPA Governments at states and Centre, which are now allowing some of the hitherto suppressed evidence to be trickling through but may well call a halt at some later date. It is high time the entire web of Sanghi fascism was laid bare.


Jamia Teachers' Demand a thorough Probe into the Special Cell's 'Gallantry'

(A Statement by the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Group - JTSG)

The recent revelations by the CBI to the Sessions Court that the Special Cell had falsely implicated two Muslim youths, Irshad Ali and Mohammad Qamar as Al-Badr terrorists raises serious questions over the methods and motives of the Special Cell. The CBI has recommended severe punishment for the Cell's officers Ravinder Kumar Tyagi – the recipient of the President's Gallantry award at this year's Republic Day Parade – and Vinay Tyagi and Subhash Vats, who forged and fabricated evidence to prove that Ali and Qamar were terrorists. It has turned out that both men were actually Intelligence Bureau informers and that they were punished by the Special Cell for noncompliance with their orders. The Special Cell was also driven by its insatiable lust for awards and promotions, which it appears, can only be attained by arresting and 'encountering' young men who can later conveniently be proclaimed as 'Islamic terrorists'.
While welcoming the CBI's disclosures, we are however, surprised that the CBI does not comment on the role of the Special Cell senior officers who were supervising the now disgraced officers. Surely, the latter could not have acted on their own, nor have planted the false evidence without the knowledge of their senior officers, ACP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav and the late Inspector M.C. Sharma.
But what is most startling is the fact that a majority of this Special Cell team also led the charge on L-18, Batla House on 19th September. Given their now proven past record of indulging in falsehoods, manufacturing evidence where none exists and framing innocents as terrorists, the need for an enquiry into the Batla House 'encounter' is all the more urgent.
Civil rights groups have been pointing out the glaring contradictions in the various police versions of the Batla House 'encounter' and the complicity of the arrested and killed students in 'terrorist' activities. The national Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan had earlier termed our demands for a judicial probe into the incident as a 'travesty'. But given the CBI's conclusive findings about the involvement of the very same Special Cell team in past sham frame-ups, we would also like to ask, why he maintains an eerie silence now.
Special Cell's bloodied history has been marked by fake encounters (Ansal Plaza, Millennium Park etc) and gross violations of procedures laid down by the NHRC. No democracy can survive by glorifying such killers and murderers by bestowing gallantry awards on them.

Jamia Teachers' Solidarity Group reiterates its demands:

1) A Judicial probe under a sitting judge of the Supreme Court into the Batla House 'Encounter'
2) Handing over the investigation to the CBI as we have no faith in the impartiality of the Special Cell.
3) A thorough probe into the past and present activities of the Special Cell.

Sanghi Terrorism’s Fascist Blueprint

The claim that the Sanghi acts of terrorism are a ‘reaction’ to contemporary bomb blasts by Muslims does not hold water. The pages of history show us that the blueprint of such terrorism (couched in terms of ‘militarisation of the Hindus’ and explicitly modelled on the fascist brigades of Hitler and Mussolini) was prepared by Sangh ideologues and founding fathers – Savarkar, Golwalkar, Hedgewar, Godse, Moonje – long ago.

Wasn’t Nathuram a Terrorist?

Today, the Sangh-BJP say ‘no Hindu can be a terrorist.’ Let us recall that both Savarkar and Godse (and the RSS itself) were implicated in that dastardly terrorist act: the murder of Gandhi. Today, the Abhinav Bharat (to which Lt.Gen Purohit belongs) openly owes allegiance to Savarkar and Godse; its President Himani Savarkar is daughter-in-law of Savarkar’s brother Babarao, and daughter of Nathuram’s brother Gopal Godse.

On Citizen’s Rights for Minorities

Here is RSS ideologue ‘Guru’ Golwalkar’s vision for ‘Hindu Rashtra’:

“… the foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment not even citizen’s rights.”

- M. S. Golwalkar, We or Our Nationhood Defined, 1938, p. 47-48

And here is Himani Savarkar, (related to both Savarkar and Godse), President of the Abhinav Bharat:

“We must declare ourselves a Hindu Rashtra where everyone is a Hindu. Anyone who isn’t should be declared a second-class citizen and denied voting rights. Those who have problems with this should leave and settle in other countries.” (Outlook November 17, 2008) Responding to a question about Muslims claiming victimisation by police and being denied justice in riot cases of 1993 Mumbai and 2002 Gujarat, she said, “If they (Muslims – ed/-) are to make such demands (for human rights and justice – ed/-), then there are so many countries for Muslims and they should go live there.”

No wonder, Ms. Savarkar and her Sanghi friends feel that human rights and justice are reserved for sadhus and sadhvis: Muslim terror suspects have no right to expect such ‘citizen’s rights.’

Sangh’s ‘Cultural Nationalism’: Nothing But Fascism

‘Guru’ Golwalkar referred to the Holocaust (the Nazi purge of Jews) as “German race pride” and called it “a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by.”

- M. S. Golwalkar, We or Our Nationhood Defined, 1938, p. 35

RSS and Bhonsala Military Academy

The RSS calls itself a ‘nationalist’ outfit, and the Bhonsala Military Academy at Nashik and the Bhonsala Military School claim to offer patriotic training.

Were these institutions set up with a patriotic purpose – to aid in the freedom struggle? Far from it. RSS ideologue Golwalkar is on record opposing the anti-British freedom struggle: “Anti-Britishism was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom movement, its leaders and the common people.” M. S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, p. 138. And the khaki shorts uniform of the RSS was a copy of the colonial police uniform!

RSS founder Hedgewar’s close associate B S Moonje’s writings reveal the real purpose of these institutions.

On a 1931 trip to Italy, Moonje visited Mussolini’s Military College, the central Military School of Physical Education, the Fascist Academy of Physical Education and the Balilla and Avanguardisti youth organisations. Full of inspiration, he wrote that “India and particularly Hindu India need some such institutions for the military regeneration of the Hindus... Our institution, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of Nagpur under Dr.Hedgewar is of this kind, though quite independently conceived.”

He went on to set up the Central Hindu Military Education Society at Nashik, which created the Bhonsala Military Academy in 1937. In a fund-raising document, Moonje again acknowledged its fascist inspiration, and stated the aim of the military training: “The training is meant for qualifying and fitting our boys for the game of killing masses of men with the ambition of winning victory with the best possible casualties (sic) of dead and wounded while causing the utmost (harm?) to the adversary.” Of course, for Moonje, the ‘adversary’ meant Muslims, not the British.

Can’t we hear the echoes of Moonje’s agenda in ‘Sadhvi’ Pragya Singh Thakur’s phone conversation in which she asked why more people were not killed and maimed?

The Bhonsala Military Academy (Nashik) and its offshoot the Bhonsala Military School (BMS) at Nagpur are openly committed to Sanghi indoctrination. The BMS Nagpur was set up in 1996 and inaugurated by the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Manohar Joshi of the Shiv Sena.

The BMS at Nagpur trains students to join the National Defence Academy and the armed forces. It also admits that its teachers (including former Army officers) offered training in “small arms,” martial arts, etc... to an all-India camp of Bajrang Dal cadre.

Can we allow a fascist-inspired school which indoctrinates students in communal ideology and trains communal mobs, to coach students for recruitment to the Indian army? Can any school be allowed to impart quasi-military training to a communal outfit? Can we allow serving members of our armed forces, as well as former army officers, to give communal outfits training that they use against our countries’ minorities?

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