Lt. Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit who was found by the National investigation Agency (NIA), to be the key alleged conspirators behind the Malegaon blast on September 29, 2008, was granted bail yesterday after nine years of imprisonment.
Thus yet another tale of saffron terror that shocked the nation is fading into oblivion. Swami Aseemanand and six others who were accused in the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast case were acquitted months before. These instances are answers to the apprehensions regarding the outcomes of cases related to Hindu terrorism after the BJP came to power at the Centre. When the culprits behind the blasts protected by their saviours are erased off gradually, it casts a dark shadow over the state systems including the government machinery.
Purohit an army officer was arrested nine years ago after he and Abhinav Bharat, a right wing Hindu group led by him, was found to be behind the Malegaon explosion that killed nearly six persons and injured more than a hundred. The NIA dubbed Purohit as the ‘mastermind’ behind the second Malegaon explosion based on its findings that the senior official was part of the conspiracy meetings that took place eight months before the blast, and also agreed to arrange the explosives. However, the fate of the case in which the Supreme Court granted interim bail was dramatic like Purohit’s arrest. The revelations following the Malegaon blast probe rubbished the investigations related to terrorist explosions in India until then and the tales surrounding them. Since Muslim youth were indicted in blast cases that took part in different part of the country, the communal forces have been shaping the public consciousness against the Muslim men alleging them to be behind every bomb blast. It was amidst these attempts, that the conspired moves of the Hindutwa communal forces to destabilize the society, were unveiled.
The Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) in Maharashtra and the CBI had arrested nine Muslim men in the Malegaon blast that killed 38 persons on September 8, 2006. However, in 2011 when the NIA took over the investigation, four Hindu terrorists were arrested in the case. It was while the probe continued, that the role of saffron terror in the twin blasts of Malegaon and Modasa in 2008 came to light and Pragya Singh Thakur and Colonel Purohit got arrested. Samjhauta Express from Delhi to Lahore exploded in Panipat, Haryana on February 18, 2007 killing 68 people. The same year, another blast near Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18 claimed the lives of 14 persons. And the mysterious murder case of Sunil Joshi, a Hindu terrorist leader who was accused in most of the saffron terror-related cases on December 29, 2007. All these were cases entrusted to the NIA by the erstwhile UPA government for investigating the role of Hindu terror. During the NIA investigation, the alarming role of the Hindutwa terror groups behind the incidents that led to the hounding of Muslim youth across the country and branding the Muslim community as terrorists, was revealed. The mysterious killings of Hemant Karkare, the Maharashtra ATS chief and Vijay Salaskar were incidents that turned the nation’s attention towards the Hindutwa terror outfits. The Congress government and Home Minister P Chidambaram who initiated the hunting down of Muslims in the name of terrorism, then changed their approaches and stood up against saffron terrorism. This had upset the BJP and the Sangh Parivar much.
With the BJP in power at the Centre, there were apprehensions over the NIA cases against Hindu terror in states with Sangh Parivar in rule, being erased. After the change in power, the officers who probed the case were pressurized. The lawyers of the accused presented new complaints one after another. Rohini Salian, Special Public Prosecutor in the case complained in June 2015 that she was under pressure from NIA, to go ‘soft’ in the case. She had then itself raised suspicions whether the government and the NIA were equally involved in rubbing off the case. The NIA cases reinforced the fact. It clear that Swami Aseemanand, Pragya Thakur and Colonel Purohit walked out from prison under the benefit of the new political circumstances. With those accused in terror cases that shocked the nation, the regressive forces who undermined the society, walking out of prison one after another, the question as to who then is the culprit remains. It’s under the guise of this attempts and suspicions that the communal Hindutwa forces flourish. If the Sangh Parivar government backs saffron terror by making use of the terror-related cases, then who will save the nation and from whom?