'Patriotic' Criminals, 'Nationalist'Terrorists : Why Crimes of
Lt Col Purohit Are Being Sanitised ?
By Subhash Gatade
14 July, 2012
Enter 'Our' Terrorist !
Written in different times and under a different context, one discovers that George Orwell's classic novel 1984, which lampoons authoritarian regimes, is finding strange resonance in today's India . Readers may be reminded that the Ministry of truth also called 'minitrue' - one of the four ministries in Oceania -the fantasy land in the novel, whose job is 'to engage in any necessary falsification of historical events' has few slogans written on its wall. It unashamedly declares 'War Is Peace', 'Freedom is Slavery', 'Ignorance is Strength'.
As far as my knowledge goes there are no such slogans written on the walls of MHA - ministry of home affairs - here in Delhi whose job is supposed to put a tab on the internal situation of the country, but it appears that it is increasingly moving on similar lines where untruth is packaged and presented as 'truth'. It is not for nothing that it is finding itself increasingly mired in one controversy after the other. No sooner that it found itself at odds with reality about the illegal abduction of an engineer from Saudi Arabia came the news that it had put its seal of approval on a fake encounter of poor tribals in faraway Chhatisgarh where many other cabinet members of the ruling dispensation had termed it a 'cold blooded murder of innocents'. But nowhere does its ineptitude seems more blatant if one considers the way it deals with cases of stigmatisation of minorities especially Muslims or for that matter handling cases of what is known as Hindutva terror.
The debate is still on about the heinous murder of an undertrial Qateel Siddiqui inside the high security Yeravada jail by fellow 'patriotic' convicts - who were supposedly so infuriated by an act of bombing on a religious place - an act for which Qateel was made an accused (which in fact had never taken place)- that they killed him on the last day of his remand at the jail. A enquiry has been ordered but we can very well prophesise that nothing is going to come out of it. Neither it is the first use of 'patriotic' criminals by the police/security agencies to further their dirty work nor it is going to be the last.
And close on the heels of a few of the accused in the Hindutva terror cases getting bail one after the other - for the simple reason that NIA (National Investigating Agency) could not file the chargesheet in the stipulated period - one is finding that preparations seem to be on so that Lt Col Purohit, a mastermind of many of the bomb explosions in different parts of the country, is allowed to go scot free. An indication of this can be had from the new spin which is being given to the role he played in the whole operation with the 'admission' by the terrorist that he had kept the military intelligence people in loop about his 'infiltration of Abhinav Bharat' - a 'Hindu' counterpart of say Lashkar-e-Toiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad. A weekly even carried out an interview with him - supposed to be the first of its kind - (Outlook, 9 th July 2012, I Infiltrated Abhinav Bharat, Did My Job, Kept Bosses In The Loop'). A leading newspaper gave a four column news announcing that ' NIA Sweats, 1 st Case Against Saffron Terror Flounders' ( July 2, 2012 , Times of India ) which discussed 'short of evidence against Lt Col Purohit in Malegaon blast case'. The essence of the argument is that army's court of inquiry report on Purohit has supposedly revealed that he could have infiltrated Abhinav Bharat.
Need To Probe Beyond Purohit
Anyone closely following the trajectory of Hindutva terror in this part of south asia would tell you that it is not for the first time that such 'nationalist' sounding spin is being given to the terror acts committed by Lt Col Purohit. There is enough documentary evidence available, a part of which is in the form of recorded tapes of meetings found on the laptop of Shankaracharya Dayanand Pandey, co-accused in the case, to prove how this man Lt Col Purohit was not acting as a mole but was leading the terror operations from front - making plans to sending emissaries to Israel and Nepal, collecting funds, managing explosives, interacting with senior leaders of RSS and its frontal organisations, floating organisation and most important of all putting forward the grand vision of a Hindu Rashtra and the way to its accomplishment. Not only that he was even contemplating assasination of two senior leaders of RSS - its supremo Mohan Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar - with the help of other hindutva fanatics.
..Dayanand Pandey: Now, listen about the plans. I have called the person with the chemicals, he will come to me... I will use the same guy to do the work. He will reach by the 8th.
Apte: I am doubtful. On the 18th, Mohan Bhagwat will reach Delhi . He is putting two plus two. Indresh [Kumar] must have told him, I may go to Yeshwant. So he must be waiting to discuss it with me. If he comes, then our job is over. I am not worried. I am insisting because they [Indresh and Bhagwat] are our enemies.
Pandey: I have another option. There is a guy in Varanasi , a professional, who can do the work for us. He said he could do it. He will take 50 percent before killing and 50 later. I have used him earlier, too.
Apte: Aapne Rs 5 lakh diye toh woh hain yaa nahi (You gave Rs 5 lakh, is it still there?)
Dayanand: That's why I had mentioned about that chemical. The post-mortem won't show the chemical, there is no risk for me. I have told him whatever time it takes, we are fine with it. I think this work will be done within two months...
(Refer to transcripts of Tapes Detailing Conversations between Colonel SP Purohit, Major Ramesh Upadhyay, former BJP MP BL Sharma, Dayanand Pandey, Col. Dhar and RP Singh, an endocrinologist at Apollo Hospital, http://tehelka.com/story_main 46.asp? filename = Ne310710 TerrorTapes.asp)
It is also evident that the way a section of the Military Intelligence people have behaved in this case has definitely not brought them any glory but has even made it evident that they were also complicit at some levels in the criminal acts of Purohit and by providing a fig leaf to him to 'protect himself' they just want to ensure that the ambit of investigations does not move beyond the 'rogue' officer.
A trip down memory lane even tells us how from day one the army was not very cooperative in providing the information sought by ATS (Anti Terrorist Squad) led by late Mr Hemant Karkare.
A perusal of a writeup in Outlook (A Much Tested Squad, 1 Dec 2008 ) by Smriti Koppikar provides details given by the ATS about its interaction with military people when it was on the lookout for accused in the Malegaon bomb blast case 2008.
In fact despite obtaining Purohit's custody for his role in the blast, the ATS was not able to know from army who provided help to Purohit in getting a fake identity card for Sudhakar Chaturvedi and who from the military helped him in issue an arms licence for Chaturvedi. Looking at the fact that Purohit made available explosives and weapons to the team, ATS wanted to know whether such things went missing from the army or not. When Narco tests on Purohit revealed that he met VHP leader Praveen Togadia on 1 st August in Mumbai, the investigating team wanted to know whether Purohit was granted leave on that day or not
* The ATS was unable to recover Purohit's laptop for days after he was taken into custody though he had it with him in Panchmarhi, where he was last posted. ATS sources fear it may have been tampered with.
* ATS sources say they have had to backtrack on their request to scan and interrogate three other serving officers whose names came up during the interrogation of those arrested in the case.
* The ATS would also like the army to share a list of officers and men who were in close contact with Purohit at two stages—one during his stint in Jammu and Kashmir and later when he was posted at Nashik-Deolali.Fearing it might possibly open up a can of worms, this information has not been made available to investigators so far.
* The army took its time, allege ATS sources, to furnish details of the Secret Service Fund accessed by Purohit.
When Purohit refused to share some information with the ATS under a plea that he would not reveal without permission from the army, senior army officers emphasised the fact that the defence establishment would not like Purohit to share such information with the investigators.
Contrary to provisions of Army rules ; Purohit is also alleged to have sold his 7.62 mm pistol to an arms dealer in Pune.In fact, there are enough blind spots in the whole case that people, formations seeking to reach the kernel of truth have been demanding that the probe into Malegaon bomb blast should go beyond Col Purohit. The latest in series is a brief writeup in Tehelka ( 14 th July 2012) which provides details of the tapes of conversation between Purohit and many of the other accused in the case - which it had published earlier as well - emphasising the fact that it is high time that the investigations are taken up on the role of other Military Intelligence officials who find mention in the case.
But before coming to other details of l'affaire Purohit it would be opportune here to look at the metamorphosis of Shrikant Prasad Purohit, son of a bank clerk from Pune, to one of the most controversial military officers - accused of aiding and abetting terrorism - in the country.
Militarising Minds, Hindutvaising the Nation- The Case of Bhonsla Military School
2001 : 40 days training camp of RSS-Bajrang Dal activists was organised on the premises of the Bhonsala military school, Nagpur . A total of 115 activists from all over the country, including 54 from Maharashtra , attended the camp. The trainees were imparted training in handling of weapons, making of bombs and exploding the same. Retired and serving army officers and retired senior IB officers were among the trainers (as disclosed in the investigation of Nanded blast case of 2006 and Malegaon blast case of 2008.)
(P. 43, ‘Who Killed Karkare')
Pune, the eighth largest metropolies in India and the second largest in Maharashtra , is today a changed city. Traditionally supposed to be the cultural and educational hub of Maharashtra and a key centre of different political-social movements it also has another side, that of being home to militant Hindutva ideologies. Nathuram Godse, the first terrorist of independent India , was a resident of Pune only. And till date one finds a significant section of the elite entertaining sympathies with this exclusivist project. The exposure in the Malegaon bomb blast (Sep 2008) had once again underlined this aspect of the city. In fact many of the accused in the case belong to or have been associated with this city only.
One such gentleman happens to be Lt Col Jayant Chitale, a retired air defence artillery officer who runs the Maharashtra Military Foundation (MMF) and functions from his bunglow only. Few years back Maharashtra Military Foundation was in the news for organising a camp to ‘train youth on a suicide mission to counter terrorism'(Anti-terror training camp busted in Maharashtra, arms seized, Indian Express, 16 th Nov 2002, PTI, Posted online: Friday, November 15, 2002 at 1249 hours IST) In fact the ‘popularity' of the MMF's work in Maharashtra can be gauged from the fact that there was a news in a section of the media that ‘Gawli's party' was ‘to donate funds to Maharashtra military group' (Rediff On The NeT : Gawli's party to donate funds to Maharashtra ... www.rediff.com/news/aug/29mmf.htm - Cached)
According to Chitale, “This Malegaon blast could be the reaction of years of frustration within the army over denial of their rights and prestige. The politicians and the bureaucrats continue to ignore the military at their own peril and these acts could just be the beginning." In an interview to the ‘Outlook' reporter (‘Godse's War, Nov 17, 2008 ) Jayant Chitale told him that he had “[o]ver 1,000 of my boys serving in the three services today. Each one has been brainwashed by me. They are motivated, determined and will do anything for the nation." The visitor's book which Chitale has carefully preserved lists the names of all the young men who were trained under him. Entry on February 20, 1993 tells us that Shrikant Prasad Purohit, Law College , Pune was also enrolled here. If one were to browse Purohit's other biographical details one learns that Shrikant Purohit had his brush with the Hindutva politics in his late teens when he attended a special coaching class for Short Service Commission officer-aspirants at the Bhonsala Military School in Nashik.
Founded in late thirties by one of the founders of RSS Dr Munje, the said school has been recently in the news for the space it provided to organise meetings of the Hindutva terror people and even organising training camps in the use of bombs. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) investigating the Nanded bomb blast case 2006 had found that one of the ringleaders of the terror group Himanshu Panse - who had died in an explosion at a RSS activists house - had organised a training camp at the Bhonsala Military School in Nagpur, apart from other camps. Apart from mentioning their training in making pipe bombs near Pune it also talked about the fact that Panse and Wagh attended a 40-day training camp at Bhonsala Military School at Nagpur. The charge sheet and narco analysis of accused in the Nanded blast case made it very clear that a training camp was held in the Bhonsala Military School at Nagpur attended by 100 to 115 people in May 2000 from all over the country. City of Nanded witnessed another blast in February 2007, this time inside a bakery shop. Two persons died in the incident, both belonging to Hindutva organisations.Despite ample proof that Bhonsala Military School, was engaged in activities which are nothing but 'terror related' no action was taken against it.preparing the ground for similar acts in future.
Coming back to discussion about Purohit's military career it seems that it was not very remarkable.His participation in the counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir (2002) did not win him any special laurels. His tenure in Jammu and Kashmir continued upto January 2005, where he was transferred to the counter intelligence unit of the Military Intelligence Directorate. While his earlier stint in MMF or at Bhonsla Military School had convinced him about the weltanshauung (world view) of the Hindutva forces, his transfer to Maharashtra in 2005 seemed to have accelerated his attempts to work towards ‘building Hindu Rashtra'. His posting in the Military Intelligence Cell , which is meant for developing and maintaining links between army as well as the people , must have helped him a lot. It facilitated renewal of his contacts with the Hindutva activists, where Col S S Raikar, school commandant of Bhonsala Military School , played a key role, which later germinated in the form of Abhinav Bharat. He is reported to have even organised training camps in which dozens of people took part and were taught to handle arms. He also took initiative in organising camps in Pune but most of these camps took place in the campus of Bhonsla Military School only (Indian Express, 7 Nov 2008 ). Purohit said during the Faridabad meeting: “Whatever I have said today is in fact taken care of by the officers sitting there. The entire school is in my hands” (26 January Conversation: 25).
There is no doubt that he carefully used his position in the military intelligence unit, to develop contacts within the military and outside. In fact, he was smart enough to give an impression to many of his gullible colleagues that what he was doing was part of some'secret operations' on behalf of the some higherups only. The chargesheet filed in the Malegaon case tells us a lot about it.
The Other Fanatics in Uniform
Anyone who has had access to the chargesheet filed in the Malegaon (sep 2008) bomb blast case would tell you that it has testimonies of a few military personnel also - who knew Lt Col Purohit and whom he tried to rope in for his grand project of ‘Aryavarta Hindurashtra'. One gentleman's - a colleague in the military - who was from Army Education Corps and ‘had experience to raise and run new schools at different places' who had purchased a land in an underdeveloped area and had plans to ‘establish a school in that place, testimony is quite revealing. The gentleman seems to be a very religion-unbiased person who was instrumental in raising ‘16 schools at Kargil' and persuaded the military establishment to make ‘Koran as part of curric4ulum' and also visited Ajmer as part of ‘Mannat' for his son's good result for X th final.
Listening to his ideas Purohit had shown interest in his project and invited him to a meeting in Faridabad where he had promised that he would be able to meet some other people who would be helpful in his venture. It was a meeting of ‘Abhinav Bharat' which was attended by many of those who are at present behind bars. Of course, it did not take much time for the enthusiastic gentleman to realise that Purohit had other plans and would not be of much use in the proposed school.
The chargsheet has also details of the telephonic conversation between Purohit and (retd.) Major Ramesh Upadhyaya whom Purohit addresses as ‘Sir'. Upadhyaya retired from the Army in 1988 and was the chief of the BJP's ex-servicemen's cell in Mumbai earlier and working president of Abhinav Bharat.According to Mail Today' (18 July 2010) “The Maharashtra ATS claims he was a mere ‘member' of the organisation, but from the tapes recovered from Pande it seems he was present in all meetings where the Malegaon bombing was planned. He used to interact at length with both Purohit and Pande. For all his talk of a ‘pure' Hindu Rashtra, Upadhyaya had been arrested twice for stalking, threatening and posting indecent remarks about a woman whom he wanted to marry.”
At the meeting that took place in Faridabad in January 2008, one Col Aditya Dhar took part in the discussion, though very discreetly. Purohit introduced him by saying:
Purohit: I think we should introduce them to Col Aditya Dhar. He is in the Parachute regiment and I am posted with him right now in Panchmarhi.
Col Aditya Dhar: Since 23 years I have been in the Army.
Upadhyaya: He will be on the same plane for a Hindu Rashtra, a governing council, this will be the idea when we come in power (26 January Conversation: 10).
The way Purohit introduced him shows that he was recruiting in places where he worked. Three other officers have been named as strong contenders for the governing body that Purohit and his colleagues were willing to put in place (26 January Conversation: 29). Already, Purohit says, “Major Parag Modak is in charge of our international office” (26 January Conversation: 9).
The recordings of the meetings which were done by Swami Dayanand Pandey also provides details about the contacts the team had tried to establish with Israel and the king of Nepal who had promised them arms as well as training in arms. Another recording tells us about Delhi Hindu Mahasabha chief Ayodhya Prasad Tripathi's loud claims about his links with an anti-Islamic group based in the UK headed by a ‘dreaded anti-communist and anti-Islamic' David Gaus whose units ‘are growing rapidly in France, Germany, England and America'.
On these tapes Purohit is heard talking about starting a military school in every state, where recruits would be given rifle training during the summer. According to him these schools could be used to hide people in case of “any police action.” Interestingly, he emphasises that RSS's name should not be linked in any way to the schools. “We have to assume such a name that is deceptive. We will work under the name ‘Bastion Guards.'
During the 2006 inquiry into the Nanded blast, a retired navy officer hailing from Pune, S R Bhate, who was associated with the RSS since 1996, declared to the police that as early as March-April 2000 he had been asked by the local Bajrang Dal leader “to train his activists in the use of gelatine sticks at a camp in the city” (Indian Express 2008) and then at a larger one in the BMS (Nasik).
Bhate told the ATS [Anti-Terror Squad] investigators that the camp had been organised by the RSS and about 115 activists from across the country were trained in karate, ground obstacles and firing of revolvers. Two retired ex-servicemen and a senior retired officer from the IB [Intelligence Bureau] were also present, he stated (Indian Express 2008).
Apart from the direct involvement of Ramesh Upadhyaya, a retired army Major, in the operations, one also gets to know from newspaper reports that the ATS under Mr Karkare had also interrogated Mr Raikar, Commandant of the Bhosla Military School for his knowledge of the whole conspiracy and the manner in which the premises of the School were freely given to others. In fact, Purohit had served with the new commandant of the school, Col S.S. Raikar, who also worked with military intelligence earlier, and had even requested him to let the Abhinav Bharat hold its meeting in the school.
Nashik, Nov 12, 2008 (PTI) The Principal and a clerk of Bhonsala Military School (BMS), where some of the arrested accused in Malegaon blast case held meetings, resigned today after both were questioned by Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad.
Principal Shailesh Raikar and clerk Rajan Gaidhani tendered their resignation to the city-based school management. Talking to PTI, BMS divisional secretary Diwakar Kulkarni said the management will discuss on the resignation issue at a meeting to be held tomorrow.
Both Raikar and Gaidhani has not given any reasons for their resignation but said the management has not asked for it.
The duo were recently taken by ATS in Mumbai for questioning in connection with the meeting the right wing group Abhinav Bharat held in the School premises on September 16, 13 days before the Malegaon blast. The meeting was attended by Lt Col P S Purohit and others.
Looking at the key role played by Bhosla Military School , which is run by a group of people whose sympathies with the RSS is no secret, one fails to understand why the chief bosses of the school were allowed to go scot free and were not arrested for their dubious role in facilitating and supporting outfits committed to Hindutva terror. Very few people even know that it is one of those rare schools who impart training on service pattern to the students alongwith regular courses which is aimed at encouraging and preparing them for entry into National Defence Academy (NDA), Indian Military Academy (IMA) etc and other defence services.
The Not So Secret 'Infiltrator'
If one were to believe for a moment that Lt Col Purohit had kept his officers in the loop about his 'infiltration of Abhinav Bharat' then the immediate question arises why did the army hand him over to the Anti Terrorist Squad - and so quickly. Prof Christophe Jafferlot offers an explanation which is worth pondering over.
Given the opacity of the whole affair, we can only speculate. But two hypothesis - at least! - can be made. First, the army preferred to let Purohit appear as an Hindutva zealot turned terrorist rather than admitting that it was collecting intelligence in a place where it was not supposed to do so - Madhya Pradesh is not Jammu and Kashmir or the North East. The military institution preferred to sacrifice Purohit if this theory is right.
Or the second hypothesis could be that Purohit, who might have been an infiltrator first (something we need to corroborate on the basis of other testimonies), had become part and parcel of Abhinav Bharat and, therefore, a turn coat like David Headley vis-a-vis the US intelligence. This theory is well in tune with Purohit's discourses during the Abhinav Bharat meetings.
Hopefully, a proper investigation will take place and its conclusions will be made public - since nobody should be above the law in a vibrant democracy like India . But neither the clarifications we've just received, nor the hypothesis we can make are comforting.
( Malegaon : Who's Above the Law? - Christophe Jaffrelot, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol - XLVII No. 26-27, June 30, 2012 )
Interestingly contrary to army court's enquiry - whose extracts have rather created a confusion- an independent probe by the army makes it clear that Purohit was never authorised to infiltrate the right wing group Abhinav Bharat. ( Malegaon bomb blast: Purohit had no orders to infiltrate Abhinav Bharat, finds Army probe, Rahul Tripathi,Manu Pubby, Indian Express, Posted: Jul 04, 2012 at 0217 hrs IST). It further adds that his '.. [a]ssociation with the group was in fact a breach of service rules, the force is said to have determined. Sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said the Army's findings on the suspended officer would not impact the terror charges that it is investigating.'. NIA's investigation corroborates the fact that he was "acting independently” and never sought the permission of his seniors. He was also not mandated to hold meetings in Kolkata, Faridabad and Indore while being stationed in Deolali, sources said."
NIA sources said that contrary to Purohit's claims that he was secretly infiltrating Abhinav Bharat, he had revealed his identity as an MI officer to Swami Aseemanand, another key accused in the case. ..
Investigators also suspect that a report by Purohit after the Malegaon blast naming Sadhvi Pragya and others — which is being cited in his defence that he kept his seniors in the loop — was a ploy to cover his tracks as he feared being linked to the blast after the Maharashtra ATS identified Pragya as a suspect.
The Army inquiry, sources said, has also found that Purohit violated other rules by procuring a bulletproof vest and a bugging device from his personal funds, and helping an accused in the case get a non-service pattern weapon. (Ref : -do-)
Question naturally arises about the extent and depth of right wing hindutva penetration in the army. It appears that the powers that be have never been very keen to broach the subject or undertake an investigation into the phenomenon. One still remembers the hurried manner in which Mr A.K. Antony, defence Minister of India, categorically stated after the arrest of Purohit, a serving army officer, the first of its kind in independent India , that he was the sole exception to the otherwise secular and democratic character of the army.
But was it really the case ?
Take the case of Sameer Bhate, or Col Dhar or Major Nitin Joshi :
A witness in the Malegaon case said that a ‘Colonel Dhar' (later identified as Lt Col Bappaditya Dhar) was present in an Abhinav Bharat meeting. Purohit had also named several officers. “There are many respected men who are not there today,” Purohit is learnt to have said, adding, “There is a Col Raikar, Col Shailesh Raikar, a Major Nitin Joshi, and a Col Hasmukh Patel.” The ATS is learnt to have interrogated Raikar and Dhar extensively but could not move against them as it did not have a watertight case.(Mail Today, 18 July 2010 , Saffron Terror's Hall of Shame, By Krishna Kumar)
Perhaps it would be opportune here to listen to what Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, former Naval Chief, who was sacked by the BJP government, has to say on this issue. When the investigations into Malegaon bomb blast 2008 were going on he had shared his long experience of working with the military "There's a clear majoritarian view in the military. The RSS has always had an agenda to infiltrate the armed forces, the intelligence services and the bureaucracy." Adml Vishnu Bhagwat, Former naval chief (Something Not Uniform, Outlook, Nov 24, 2008 )
As noted by observers, the language of the right has always had appeal for men in uniform in most democracies.It was symptomatic that 90s could be said to be the period in the Indian context when many ex-Army men joined BJP. When BJP came to power in 1998, two dozen ex-servicemen also preferred to side with it. Commenting on this phenomenon Mr Christophe Jafferlot writes: This inflow of ex-army men may reflect the increasingly communal atmosphere of the institution. In December 2003, a survey by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies for Tehelka, one of the first among army men — and probably the most comprehensive — showed that 19 per cent of the soldiers interviewed felt that the army practised some religious discrimination — and 24 per cent of the Muslims among them shared this view.(Hindutva Tradition of Terror, Saturday 7 February 2009, by Christophe Jaffrelot, Indian Express)
Too Clever By Half
The new developments in the investigations in Hindutva terror cases and the manner in which its selected extracts have appeared in a section of the press, are being watched with glee by the RSS and its frontal organisations. For them it has "..[e]xposed a deep-rooted conspiracy against Bharat, Hindus and the patriotic people of the country. The whole exercise allegedly conducted on instructions of a section of Congress leaders and some ministers in the UPA government to prove ‘safforn terror' a reality and also to falsely implicate some Hindu saints and patriotic people in terror activities, now stands exposed." (Organiser, 15 th July 2012).It is worth emphaising that one also finds few nice words being expressed about Lt Col Purohit and Shankaracharya Dayanand Pandey - the duo which had conspired to kill RSS Supremo Mohan Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar.
One is little bit surprised over the enthusiasm being expressed by the RSS over terror mastermind Purohit's feverish attempts to wriggle himself out of the terror tag and save his skin and letting his other accomplices in the 'mission' face the music. RSS must be thinking that Purohit's defence would help it as well in the long run as it finds itself on the defensive on this issue. With n number of RSS pracharaks behind the bars for their alleged role in Hindutva terror acts and many of them still absconding and with names of many senior leaders of the 'Parivar' doing rounds of the NIA for their role in this anti human conspiracy, it is also desperately looking for straws to save itself.
With their new found love for Lt Col Purohit the RSS top bosses have once again demonstrated that they suffer perenially from 'selective amnesia'.
In fact only last year no 2 in the RSS hierarchy had written a letter to Prime Minister asking him to form an independent commission to enquire into the alleged conspiracy hatched by the likes of Lt. Col. Purohit, Dayanand Pandey and others to kill Mohan Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar. The letter signed by Suresh (“Bhaiyaji”) Joshi, Sarkaryavah of the RSS and sent on 11 February, 2011 , asked :
The fundamental question that arises, but not addressed, is: how could the RSS be bracketed with those who were viciously hostile to it and conspiring to kill its leaders? ..We believe that Col Purohit's role was political and he was not acting on his own. Thorough probe is needed to find out those behind him in his attempts to divide the RSS and its friendly organisations from within. This larger political conspiracy cannot be unraveled by mere criminal investigation. Col. Purohit had been aggressively anti-BJP and anti-RSS as the Malegaon case evidence brings out. Hence arises the issue about his hidden political connections and agenda. It is needless to say that only those who would politically benefit from such strategies could have been behind him. But, only a thorough, independent investigation will expose his political agenda and connections. Similar probe is also required against Dayanand Pandey, whose role is equally mysterious. Otherwise the full truth would remain buried. (http://rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=151)
Any layperson would like to ask Mr Mohan Bhagwat or Mr Suresh Joshi, whether they have got the necessary response about the 'aggressively anti-BJP and anti-RSS' Col Purohit from the Prime Minister that they are ready to take his words as gospel truth. Why this new found love for 'those who were viciously hostile to it and conspiring to kill its leaders?' and also attempted '.to divide the RSS and its friendly organisations from within.'
Would it be improper to say that this Bollywood mimicking turn in the love-hate relationship between RSS and Lt Col Purohit, rather vindicates a Marathi proverb which says that ‘A cat drinks milk with its eyes closed and thinks the world is not watching.'
Subhash Gatade is a Writer and social activist based in New delhi. Subhash also edits a Hindi Journal Sandhan. His most recent book is "Godse’s Children: Hindutva Terror in India" Email. : email@example.com
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