It's becoming difficult for the Sangh Parivar to distance itself from the Malegaon and Modasa blasts as more of its people and organisations are arrested or named for involvement by Maharashtra police investigators.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad has so far arrested three people and questioned six in connection with the blasts that killed six on September 29. All of them were said be linked to the Parivar.
Pragya Singh Thakur, one of those arrested, was a former national leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.
Sameer Kulkarni, one-time RSS pracharak and worker of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and S.S. Raikar, commandant at the Sangh-affiliated Bhonsala Miltary School in Nashik, were being investigated by the Maharashtra police. Major (rtd) Ramesh Upadhyaya, who once headed the BJP ex-service cell in Mumbai, is also under the scanner.
Though BJP leaders protest the use of “Hindu terrorism” for the attacks, they are largely defensive on the issue. But they also hope to make the most of it. “This will help us through a consolidation of Hindu votes,” a leader said.
The Congress, which had been under attack for being soft on terrorism, believes it has the BJP on the mat.
“This is only the tip of the iceberg,” said spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi. “More evidence is likely to emerge and the Congress shall continue to highlight the abhorrent involvement of the RSS and BJP in terrorism.”