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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Joshi: Silenced in death

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 27, 2012
First Published: 22:45 IST(27/12/2012) | Last Updated: 02:24 IST(28/12/2012)

Inspired by his jehadi counterparts in the Indian Mujahideen (IM), right-wing extremist and former RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi wanted to bring out press releases and emails owning up to all the blasts carried out by his group.

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However, fearing that such an action would expose them, his patrons as well as other group members decided to silence him, sources revealed.

Sunil Joshi, 45, was killed on the night of December 29, 2007, in Chuna Khadan area of Dewas in Madhya Pradesh.

The state police filed a chargesheet against his close associates — Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Anand Raj Kataria, Harshad Solanki, Vasudev Parmar and Ramchandra Patel — on February 28, 2011.

It was alleged that Joshi's murder may have been carried out because he had misbehaved with Pragya and misused group money.

However, as his murder was intricately linked with the whole Hindu terror conspiracy, the Centre handed over the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) along with six other probes of the kind.

The NIA came to the conclusion that Joshi was killed for completely different reasons.

"The Lashkar-e-Taiba and Students Islamic Movement of India were being held responsible for the blasts at Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad and Dargah Ajmer Sharif, which — in fact — were the handiwork of Joshi's group.

On November 27, 2007, Indian Mujahideen sent its first email, claiming responsibility for bombing the court complexes in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi. Similarly, Joshi wanted to claim responsibility for blasts carried out by his group… by sending emails or issuing press releases. He discussed his plan with at least two persons interrogated by investigators," said a source.

According to investigators, his patrons and associates didn’t agree with the idea because they feared that it would expose them. However, Joshi wouldn't change his mind.

Remaining adamant, he even toyed with the idea of surrendering in court and owning up for the attacks. The persons, who were questioned, also said that “Joshi had always been a dangerous loudmouth, and he knew too much”.

The NIA suspects that Rajendra Pehelwan, the alleged bomber of the Samjhauta Express, was one of the persons who killed Joshi.


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