RSS ‘Hindu hero’ now Samjhauta accused
As investigators probe the proximity between the RSS and Swami Aseemanand’s RSS-inspired Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, new bits of information are surfacing to prove how the Swami got close to the RSS and used it for his terror plans. Rajesh Ahuja reports.Updated: Jan 05, 2011 02:22 IST
As investigators probe the proximity between the RSS and Swami Aseemanand’s RSS-inspired Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, new bits of information are surfacing to prove how the Swami got close to the RSS and used it for his terror plans.
The Rajasthan anti-terrorist squad claimed in its chargesheet in the Ajmer blast case that Aseemanand alias Jotin Chatterjee — a suspect in the blasts on the Samjhauta Express and in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif, Malegaon and Modasa — also used the Shabari Kumbh of 2006 to finalise plans for the blasts.
His greatest moment of glory came when BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Tarun Vijay called him “the hero of Dangs homecoming revolution” in the RSS mouthpiece, Organiser, after the event.
The three-day event in Dangs district of Gujarat, meant for widening RSS influence among tribals — using the name of a tribal woman devotee of Ram — was entirely handled by Aseemanand and his confidants.
However, officially, Aseemanand was stated to be only a member of the organising committee.
The event was attended by then RSS head KS Sudershan, his then deputy and now organisation chief Mohan Bhagwat, and the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Narendra Modi.
Vijay, then editor of the BJP’s Hindi mouthpiece, Panchjanya, was all praise for Aseemanand in an article, The Great Mingling At Shabri Kumbh, for helping “vanvasis of the Dangs save their culture and religion through sheer power of love and brotherhood”.
Vijay described how Aseemanand “mingled with vanvasis and refused to share the dais, saying I (Aseemanand) am a (vanvasi) Kalyan Ashram worker. The dais is for the revered sannyasis (monks), not for me”. Vijay, whose article was published in the February 26, 2006 issue of Organiser, refused to comment on it on Tuesday, citing ill health.
The Swami and his group’s role in the blasts was further proved by an Ajmer blast witness, saying he was invited to the event by Pragya Singh Thakur, who was later arrested by the Maharashtra ATS for plotting the Malegaon and Modasa blasts in September 2008. He also claimed that Thakur organised formal meetings for him with Bhagwat and Aseemanand.
Among the Swami’s close confidants whom he met during the event was one Manoj Kumar. Sunil Joshi, an RSS pracharak and one of the prime suspects in the blast cases, who was murdered in December 2007, was going by that name during the Shabari Kumbh.
First Published: Jan 05, 2011 01:09 IST