A swami was arrested in the Malegaon bomb blast case in Kanpur on Wednesday — the tenth suspected ‘Hindu terrorist’ in a list that includes a sadhvi, or holy woman, and a lieutenant colonel.
A joint team of Anti-Terrorist Squads from Mumbai and Kanpur picked up Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Dayanand Pandey, who also calls himself Swami Amritanand, from his brother’s house. He was taken to Lucknow for questioning and later arrested.
The arrest came on a day when BJP President Rajnath Singh warned the Congress of “playing with fire” by “trying to implicate Hindu holy men in the name of combating terrorism”. He also accused the Congress of dragging the army into politics.
Other Sangh Parivar outfits also spoke in a similar vein. Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna accused the ATS of torturing the suspects and said similar action on Muslim suspects would have drawn charges of violation of human rights.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has threatened a countrywide agitation against the UPA government for “harassing Hindu saints”. VHP leader S.K. Jain said the investigation was a “witch-hunting exercise aimed at appeasing the Muslim community”.
With the Union Home Ministry asking states to report on the involvement of groups like the Bajrang Dal in incidents of communal violence and targeted bomb blasts, and the President sending back the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill, the politics of terror is on center stage.