Politics

When RSS Shunned Purohit, the Other Malegaon Blast-Accused, for a 'Murder Plot'

The outfit distanced itself from Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit and his associates in 2011, claimed that they had also hatched plans to kill RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and leader Indresh Kumar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday defended his party’s decision to field Pragya Singh Thakur as its candidate from Bhopal, saying it was a symbolic response to those who falsely labelled the glorious Hindu civilisation as “terrorist”. Modi accused the Congress party for creating “false narratives” on saffron terror.

However, there was a time when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of Modi’s party, had tried to distance itself from the “activities” of Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit and his associates, which included Thakur.

In a letter to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the RSS had bemoaned efforts at casting “false aspersions” on it by associating the outfit with the activities of Purohit and his associates, whom it claims were also plotting to kill RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and senior leader Indresh Kumar.

In a letter dated February 9, 2011 addressed to Singh, RSS sarkaryavah, or general secretary, Suresh ‘Bhayya’ Joshi said investigating agencies had evidence that “plotters were organising a chemical attack on Bhagwat” and “had given a pistol to a named specific person to eliminate Indresh Kumar”.

Also read: Sadhvi Pragya Was First Arrested in Terror Case by BJP Government, Not Congress

The letter was posted on on February 11, 2011, on samvada.org, a website of the RSS, two days after it was sent to Singh. It can still be found on the website.

Vishwa Samvada Kendra (VSK) runs the website samvada.org and describes itself as the “official media centre of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)” with its head office in Bengaluru.

The letter mentions Purohit and Dayanand Pandey by name. While it does not mention Pragya Singh Thakur, she is currently on bail in the case.

In the letter, Joshi stated that there was a “deliberate attempt to distort, even pervert and politicise, the ongoing investigation into the bomb blasts at Malegon, Ajmer and Hyderabad and to cast false aspersions on the RSS.”

Joshi stated that the Maharashtra ATS has evidence that Purohit and Pandey, the accused in the Malegaon case, were simultaneously plotting to kill Bhagwat and Kumar.

Malegaon-blast case accused Lt Col Prasad Srikant Purohit. Credit: PTI

At the time of the Malegaon terror attack in 2008, Bhagwat was the sarkaryavah of the RSS but had become its chief at the time of the writing of this letter in 2011.

Joshi stated that at the time of Malegaon investigations itself, a senior Maharashtra ATS official had informed one of RSS’s prominent leaders about this conspiracy. “Yet, shockingly some elements in the investigative agencies have been trying to club the RSS with those very same people who were plotting against it,” he said.

“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?” Joshi wondered in his letter to the then prime minister.

Also read: Sadhvi Pragya as BJP Candidate: How the SC Missed an Opportunity to Cleanse Politics

The RSS general secretary pointed to the evidence in the chargesheet of the Malegaon blast, to the transcripts of telephonic conversations, which “showed that the conspirators were spewing venom at the RSS and the BJP”. “This extra-judicial confession conclusively proved that the RSS was a target of the accused persons in the Malegaon case,” Joshi said.

The RSS leader alleged that the Maharashtra ATS aborted the probe into the plot to kill the RSS leaders. “Was the investigation aborted because the exposure of the plot would foil any attempt to bracket the RSS with the Malegaon conspirators?” he asked.

Joshi stated in the letter that he would like to mention how Purohit “mysteriously attempted to divide the RSS and its friendly organisations from within.”

“Using his position and his nationalist ideas, he began accessing senior RSS functionaries from the year 2005. Claiming to possess exclusive intelligence, no one else had access to, he and his associates planted canards like, that Indresh Kumar was an ISI agent and that the top BJP leaders were conspiring to harm the leaders of the RSS associates,” he said.

Joshi said it “took a while for the stunned leaders to realise that Col Purohit and his associates were actually attempting to divide and weaken the RSS and its friendly organisations from within”. In the letter, Joshi claimed Purohit was anti-BJP and anti-RSS and had hidden political connections and agenda.

The RSS leader said Purohit’s “role was political and he was not acting on his own”, and that “only a thorough, independent investigation will expose his political agenda and connections”, and that of Pandey.

In what is possibly a hint to explain the current electoral battle in Bhopal where Thkaur is BJP’s candidate against Congress party’s Digvijaya Singh, Joshi said in the letter, “For the past year and more, a senior general secretary of the ruling Congress party has been viciously campaigning against what he called as “saffron terror”.

Joshi demanded that the government institute an impartial and independent inquiry into the hidden mission of Col Purohit, Dayanand Pandey and their associates.

This articles was first published on Business Standard. Read the original